Serves a Crowd

Flourless Chocolate-Pecan Cake with Meringue Topping

March 17, 2021
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Photo by Ilana Epstein
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 12-16
Author Notes

Every year, I try to find a new Seder celebratory dessert. Inevitably, there is usually chocolate, meringue, or nuts involved - it wouldn’t be Pesach (Passover) without them! This year’s show-stopping Seder dessert is a combination of all three of our Pesach dessert favourites: A flourless chocolate cake, with the addition of chopped toasted pecans to add texture and nuttiness, covered in a crispy meringue. This cake is so good, it just may make its way into your year-round dessert rotation.

Pesach baking is unlike year-round baking, in that we eliminate plain wheat flour all together and there isn’t a real replacement. It’s not about substitution of ingredients, it’s actually about a different way of thinking. —Ilana Epstein

Ingredients
  • Chocolate-Pecan Cake
  • 85 grams pecan halves
  • 250 grams unsalted butter or margarine, unsalted
  • 250 grams dark chocolate (60-75% cocoa solids)
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 165 grams light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • Meringue Topping
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 200 grams caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 180℃ (350℉) without fan. If you have a fan, lower the temperature to 160℃ (320℉). Lightly grease a 20x30 cm (9x13 inch) baking tin and line with baking paper that covers the sides of the tin as well.
  2. Place the pecans on a clean dry baking tin and roast for 5-10 minutes, until toasted, keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Once out of the oven, allow to cool and then chop small.
  3. Place the chocolate and butter (or margarine) in a large heatproof bowl and melt, either in a microwave and using short bursts of heat, or set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Place eggs and both sugars and salt into a large bowl, and using either a stand mixer or an electric handheld mixer on medium high speed, whisk for 7-8 minutes, until the egg mixture has tripled in volume.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the cooled chocolate mixture in 3 additions, and gently fold until each addition is combined and no eggy streaks remain.
  6. Fold in the toasted chopped pecans, reserving 2 tablespoons to decorate the meringue later.
  7. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared tin, and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. When the cake has been in the oven for 25 minutes, make the meringue topping: Place egg whites and a pinch of salt into a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk until foamy, then add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until you have stiff, glossy peaks.
  9. Gently spread the meringue over the top of the cake, being careful not to crush the cake below too much. Dust over the cocoa powder, and sprinkle the reserved pecans over the meringue and lightly swirl together. Bake for a further 25 minutes, or until the meringue is dry and starts to crisp.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for at least an hour. The cake will keep covered at room temperature for 2 days. Can be made and frozen, but it will crush both layers.

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