Chocolate Meringue Cake
This indulgent and supremely delicious cake makes a perfect treat for a loved one on Valentine’s Day. It’s not the easiest recipe I’ve ever given you, but if you can’t be bothered to take a little time and trouble for him/her when you’re in love, then you never will…
I added some halved strawberries, which look remarkably heart like – although I have to admit I did cheat a little and trimmed them slightly with a heart-shaped cutter to make them more obvious.
For the cake:
- 250g butter, cut into pieces
- 300g dark cooking chocolate, in chips or chopped small
- 6 medium eggs
- 150g demerara sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 110ml dark stout
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the meringue:
- 50g dark cooking chocolate in chips or chopped small
- 25g butter
- 1 tbsp (15ml) golden syrup
- 200g castor sugar
- 3 medium egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsps (10ml) vanilla extract
- A few strawberries to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/160°C fan assisted/gas mark 4.
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 20cm spring-form pan and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.
3. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water and stir until melted (or melt in the microwave).
4. Put the eggs, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and place over simmering water. With an electric hand mixer (or rotary whisk) beat well for 5 minutes or so until warm. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk hard until the mix is thickened slightly and tripled in volume. This could take 5 minutes or so.
5. Meanwhile, add the vanilla to the stout in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Beat into the egg mixture, then beat in the melted chocolate until well blended. Gradually beat in the butter until mixed in.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. The mixture will have risen well above the tin – but will fall dramatically as it cools! Place the tin onto a rack and allow to cool for an hour or so, then loosen the edge by running a knife around and carefully remove the ring. Allow to cool completely.
7. To make the meringue: melt together the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring, until the chocolate melts (or melt over simmering water). Whisk the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and 75ml water in a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk with a handheld electric mixer on low speed, then gradually increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. This will take 5-10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and continue beating until the meringue is cool and fluffy. Fold in the vanilla essence, then briefly fold in the melted chocolate until slightly swirled – it will swirl more as you put it on the cake. Spread the meringue on the cake. Decorate with a few halved strawberries.