Chocolate and Coffee-Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Chef Ruben Ortega makes this delicious, crowd-pleasing cake by sandwiching two large, crispy, chewy coffee-hazelnut meringues with a creamy mocha-mousse filling.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Time(Other): plus 6 hours chilling

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Ingredients

meringue

  • 2 teaspoons pure coffee extract
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut meal/flour (we use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
filling

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure coffee extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 pound white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound bittersweet dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Salt

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the Meringue Preheat the oven to 250° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, draw a circle in the center of each sheet of parchment paper. 

  2. Make the Meringue In a small bowl, combine the coffee extract and water. In another small bowl, whisk the hazelnut meal with the cornstarch and cinnamon. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold in the hazelnut mixture, then the coffee extract. 

  3. Make the Meringue Scrape half of the meringue into the center of each traced circle; using an offset spatula, spread in an even layer, leaving a 1/2 -inch border inside the circle. Bake the meringues in the lower and upper thirds of the oven for about 1 hour, until lightly browned and crisp; shift the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. 

  4. Meanwhile, Make the Filling In a heatproof large bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water, heat 1/2 cup of the cream with the coffee extract until hot. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Very gradually whisk the hot cream mixture into the yolks, then add the mixture to the large bowl and cook over the simmering water, stirring constantly, until the custard is hot and slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Fold in both chocolates and a generous pinch of salt and let stand over the simmering water until the chocolate is nearly melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir gently until smooth. Let cool. 

  5. Meanwhile, Make the Filling In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, very gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate custard until no streaks remain. Refrigerate until just chilled, 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, Make the Filling Trim the meringues to fit into a 9-inch springform pan. Set 1 meringue in the pan. Spread the mousse over the meringue in 
an even layer and top with the remaining meringue. Refrigerate the cake for at least 6 hours or overnight. Unmold the cake and dust with cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar. Cut the cake into wedges with a hot knife and serve.

Make Ahead

The cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. ?

Suggested Pairing

Madeira was practically made for this pretty cake. It's nutty and toffee-inflected without being overly sweet. Try The Rare Wine Co.'s New York Malmsey or Blandy's Malmsey 5 Years Old.

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes Published December 2014





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