I made this meringue and coffee marscapone layer cake for a friend’s birthday. She is a pastry chef as well so I wanted to make something that is a little out of the ordinary. The trick to making a meringue layer cake is to take your time; working step by step over a couple of days. On the first day make the meringue. Fill and decorate the cake on the second day. You will need several hours I use parchment paper underneath, but you could use a silpat if you wish.
Servings: 8-10 Preperation Time: (active) 2 hrs, (total) 2 days
12 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsps coffee crystals
2 cups marscapone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 200°F. Using 2 large, flat cookie sheets covered in parchment paper, trace two circles in pen on each sheet of paper. Take in to account the size of presentation plate you will use and trace the plate on to the sheet twice. Repeat for the other sheet of parchment paper. Set them aside. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and salt for approx. 20 seconds, or until foamy. Add all your sugar and whisk on medium-high until the peaks are stiff and glossy. (I prefer medium-high to high because I want the sugar to have enough time to dissolve before the meringue reaches the stiff peak stage). Over-whipped whites will not look glossy and you will be able to see tiny bubbles of air. (If this happens just throw it out and start again. It won’t work and it isn’t worth the effort for something that is doomed!) Stiff glossy peaks keep whatever shape that forms when you pull the whisk out. Like a little snowy mountain peak!
Use a piping bag with a large circular tip, fill 3/4 of the way with meringue. Begin piping the meringue in concentric circles like a snail shell on to the parchment, working from the center out. If you feel like it could be more even, smooth the meringue circle with an off-set spatula or butter knife. (No need for perfection. But presentation is always important). To hold the parchment down on the cookie sheet, pipe small dots of meringue under each corner of the parchment between the paper and the cookie sheet. This will keep the paper from fluttering in the oven. Continue until you have 4 meringue circles on 2 cookie sheets. Place sheets in the oven and check the sheets after 1 hour. Then again after another hour. And from there every 30 minutes. You want the meringue to be dry all the way through. Sometimes meringue can seem dry from the outside but still soft inside. Which when cooled will make it difficult to remove from the parchment. When you are satisfied the meringues are sufficiently dried out, turn off the oven and keep the meringues in there to dry out even further with the door closed. (Overnight works best).
Melt white chocolate over a double boiler and paint the meringue circles with the chocolate using a pastry brush on every surface the meringue will come in to contact with. (So not the bottom layer between the cake and the presentation plate, or the top layer where you will decorate with ganache. Use the flat bottom sides of the meringues for the bottom and tops of the cake. Add 1 tbsp of hot water to coffee crystals and set aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the whipping cream and sugar on medium-high until the whipping cream is nice and firm and you are confident it will hold its shape in the cake without oozing. Add the cooled espresso and whisk again until you have the same consistency of stiff peaks as you did just before. Fold the marscpaone in to the whipping cream using a spatula so it is fully incorporated. Whisking and over mixing may cause it to go grainy or ‘seperate’, so just fold until you are happy with the smooth texture. Spread the filling evenly in 3 layers between the coated meringue circles. Chill cake in fridge while preparing the ganache.
Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour over chocolate chips and stir to combine. Pour a lump of ganache in the middle of the top of the cake and spread out in a circular motion using a spoon.
Whisking the egg whites.
This is a glossy and stiff peak folks!
Meringue circles piped on to parchment lined sheets. This photo is of meringue with toasted almonds in the meringue but the set up is the same for all meringue cake recipes.