Happy New Year!
Sorry for the long silence, I’ve been working on a not-so top secret project that’s kept me away, but I’m back now. Thanks to those of you who’ve told me you’re enjoying the blog, it means so much to know you’re out there reading. Here’s to another year of yumminess!
Over the holidays my mother asked me for something special for a dinner party, so I thought this fabulous Concorde Cake would be fun. Supposedly created in Paris in honor of the plane, this cake is a chocoholic’s dream with a silky dark mousse surrounded by crisp bits of cocoa meringue. It’s deadly decadent and a symphony of textures- plus, it looks pretty freaking cool…
One secret to a stiff, glossy meringue is a spotlessly clean bowl- I always wipe mine down with a splash of vinegar to remove any traces of fat. With this recipe you want a really stable meringue so I took the excuse to break out my gorgeous copper bowl- the copper ions react with the egg whites to strengthen the meringue and make it easier to do the old fashioned way.
The preparation is relatively simple for the wow factor, and this cake is a fantastic flourless/gluten-free option if you need one.
Chocolate Meringuecocoa powder
1 c powdered sugar
8 egg whites
1 ¼ c sugar
1 t vanilla
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200° F. Sift together the cocoa and powdered sugar set aside.
2. Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whip attachment, or use a good old-fashioned whisk and work out those arm muscles. When the whites start to get foamy, stream in the granulated sugar while you keep whisking.
3. Continue to beat the meringue until it’s smooth and it forms glossy stiff peaks.
4. Gently fold the cocoa mixture into the meringue in three parts until it is just incorporated, over-mixing will deflate the meringue.
5. Trace two 8” circles on parchment paper and pipe or spread the meringue into discs. Pipe the rest of the meringue into thick lines on another sheet of parchment.
6. Bake the meringues in the oven for 3-4 hours at the lowest temperature, until the sticks are brittle all the way through.
5 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 oz butter3 yolks
1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and set aside to cool slightly, then stir in egg yolks and a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, whip egg whites with half the sugar to medium peak.
2. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts, being careful to keep the mousse aerated.
3. Break the hardened meringue sticks into jagged pieces 2-3 inches high. Spread the mousse onto one of the meringue discs and cover with the other, then press down a little to squeeze the mousse to the edges of the cake.
4. Press the meringue sticks all around the side of the cake, then tie a string around to keep them in place. Refrigerate overnight to let it set up.
5. Dust the top with powdered sugar and decorate with a pretty ribbon to finish.