Alprose baking chocolate works well in this recipe. You will need an 8x2 1/2-inch-high dessert ring with a removable bottom to create this decadent show-stopper.
- 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar -
- 2 Tbsp pareve, unsweetened cocoa -
- 4 large egg whites -
- 2/3 cup sugar -
- 7 oz pareve, bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into 1-inch pieces -
- 2 cups pareve whipping cream, divided into 2 parts ¼ cup and 1¾ cups
- 1 Tbsp sugar -
- 4 large egg yolks -
- Pareve bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips, melted, to decorate top of cake, optional -
To make the meringues:
1. Preheat the oven to 230°F. Tear off a piece of parchment paper the size of your largest cookie sheet. Take an
8 x 2 1/2-inch high dessert ring (without the bottom) and trace three circles on the parchment paper; it’s ok if the circles touch each other or even slightly overlap because the meringue circles will be smaller than the ring size. If necessary, use two cookie sheets. Turn the paper over and place on the cookie sheet.
2. To make the meringue, start by sifting the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they start to stiffen. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the granulated sugar gradually. Beat for another minute on high speed until the whites are stiff.
4. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa a second time into the bowl with the egg whites. Turn the mixer to low speed and mix until combined.
5. Fill a pastry bag with a 1/4-inch round tip with the meringue batter. Starting from the center of the circles drawn on the parchment paper, squeeze out spirals until each circle is about a half of an inch smaller than the drawn circle. Don’t worry if your circles are not perfect; you can use the back of a spoon to smooth over any holes. If you do not have a pastry bag, use a silicone spatula to shape the three circles of meringue batter.
6. Use any leftover batter to make any shapes you like to decorate the cake. Place the meringues in the oven and bake for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for another 2 hours to dry out.
To make the mousse:
1. Melt the chocolate on the stovetop or in the microwave.
2. Heat the 1/4 cup of whipping cream and the sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar melts and the cream starts to boil. You can also heat the cream and sugar in the microwave in a glass measuring cup until the sugar is dissolved, about one minute. Don’t worry if the cream is gloppy.
3. When the chocolate is melted, whisk in the cream-and-sugar mixture until smooth. Add the egg yolks one at a time and whisk well. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the remaining 1 3/4 cups of whipping cream until the top of the whipped cream looks like ribbons or swirls. Add the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
4. To assemble the cake, you will need an 8-inch cardboard circle. If the circle is larger than your ring, trace the inside of your ring, and then cut out the circle. Line another cookie sheet with parchment paper, place the ring on top, and put the cardboard circle inside the ring. Place a tablespoon of the mousse on the cardboard to glue the meringue circle in place. Set one of the meringue circles inside the ring. Pour one-third of the mousse into the ring to cover the meringue. Make sure you get some mousse between the meringue and the sides of the ring. Add the second meringue circle and another third of the mousse. Repeat with the last circle and more mousse and then use a flat blade metal spatula to smooth the top. (Any extra mousse can be stored in the refrigerator to decorate the top before serving, if desired.) Place the meringue cake into the freezer for 4 hours or overnight.
5. Remove the meringue from the freezer. To remove the ring, place the cake (with the cardboard bottom) on top of a large can of juice or vegetables. Pour some boiling water into a small bowl. Take a towel or paper towel, dip it into the hot water, and rub it around the outside of the ring. This will help release the ring from the mousse. Circle the entire ring with the hot towel. Then gently slide the ring down, off the cake. Place the cake back on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.
6. To decorate the cake, you can use the extra small meringues you made, any reserved mousse piped from a pastry bag, or melt some chocolate and drizzle it over the top of the cake. I have also used a vegetable peeler to shave little chocolate pieces and curls, which I then pressed into the side of the cake. Store the cake in the freezer and remove it 20 minutes before serving to cut clean slices.
Kitchen Tip: To melt chocolate in the microwave, break it into small pieces and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute. Stir for 30 seconds. Heat again for 45 seconds, and stir again to mix the unmelted chocolate pieces into the melted parts. Heat for another 30 seconds and stir. If necessary, heat 15 seconds more and stir. Do not heat for 2 minutes straight!
This recipe was featured in Kosher Inspired, April 2011. Kosher Inspired is a product of Mishpacha Magazine.