Not quite like the picture but damn tasty!
So this one is not mine it is from a fantastic recipe book called The Golden Book of Chocolate. There were some interesting techniques in this recipe that I had not tried before but overall was pretty easy and tastes unbelievable, the meringue part has added almonds which makes it all biscuity.
OK, so there is a lot of steps in this recipe and takes a good few hours to complete so it is not a quickie! Also you need to prepare all of you equipment and ingredients in advance so you can follow the process easily.
6 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
300g granulated sugar
180g finely ground almonds
1 tablespoon cornflour
250g 70% + dark chocolate
375g unsalted butter
6 large egg yolks
200g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Crushed hazelnuts for topping.
3 baking trays
Parchment paper (Not greaseproof as this sticks as I found out!)
1 large bowl
1 medium bowl
Piping bag + large nozzle
Preheat your oven to 150C/300F and cut out three 9 inch circles of parchment paper and lay out on your baking trays. Beat the egg whites and the salt in a large bowl on a medium speed until frothy. Then on a high speed gradually beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form in the mixture.
Gently fold in the almonds and the cornflour ito your mixture with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Then fill your piping bag and starting in the centre of your parchment circle pipe a spiral and leave a 1cm gap at the edge.
If you have any mixture left over you can make additional small meringues which are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee - great to serve as petit fours at the end of a meal. Bake for 1hr 20-30 mins.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes until you can handle them carefully and peel of the paper. I used greaseproof paper and let them cool too long and had a lot of trouble peeling the paper off and had to scrape with a knife to beware!
Let them cool completely while making the filling.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. This is when you have barely simmering pan of water and then place a bowl containing the chocolate on top of the pan but ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water in the pan.
Beat your butter on a medium speed in your medium bowl and set aside. Wash your whisks and then beat your egg yolks in your large bowl on a high speed until they are pale and thick.
Put your sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil - do not stir! let the sugar dissolve and bubble until it reaches 115C/238F or at the soft ball stage, this is when you take some of the syrup and drop it into cold water and it makes a sphere. Be very careful because haot sugar will burn badly if you get it on your skin. Gradually mix into the egg yolks. Then continue to beat the mixture until it has cooled and add the butter then the chocolate and then the vanilla.
Then all that's left to do is layer your cake starting with a meringue base, chocolate, meringue, chocolate, meringue, and then finally more chocolate and top with crushed hazelnuts. It was delicious served at room temperature but I put the left overs in the fridge and have to say I liked it better chilled the next day as it was firmer.
This is a very rich recipe and you only need a small slice! This recipe is good for 8-10 servings.
This is the fab book that I got this recipe from so head on over to Amazon if you fancy getting yourself a copy http://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Book-Chocolate-Great-Recipes/dp/1845432673