Grandma’s Birthday Cake: Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Cake

It took me a while to figure out what to make for my grandma’s birthday. I was tempted to go with delicate flavors, like lemon or lavender or cardamom, because, well, she’s a grandma. But in the end chocolate won out, because everyone loves chocolate and no one really wants their birthday cake to taste like potpourri. Not even grandmas.

I’m not gonna lie, this recipe was probably a lot more trouble than it was worth. And, as per the recipe’s recommendation, I bought fancy Guittard chocolate, which in the end did not really make that much of a difference. But the cake was still great and most importantly, my grandma loved it and took half of it home. Baking success!

Ingredients:

For the cake:
-10 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for pan
-3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
-6 eggs, separated
-12 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
-1 1/2 tablespoons espresso
-1/4 teaspoon salt

For the meringue:
-4 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (1 cup)
-1 cup hazelnuts (about 4 oz)
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-4 egg whites
-3/4 cup sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×3 in springform pan with parchment paper and spray with butter spray.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the oven, toast hazelnuts until the skins are dark and crispy. Remove skins and set aside.

3. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt chocolate. Let cool.

4. Cream together butter and sugar.

5. Add egg yolks, beating well after each egg.

6. Beat in the melted chocolate, espresso, and salt.

8. In a separate bowl, beat six egg whites on high until soft peaks form, about six minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and pour into prepared pan.

9. Bake for 25 minutes.

10. While the cake is still in the oven, roughly chop the remaining 4 oz of chocolate and 1 cup of the hazelnuts.

11. Mix together chocolate, nuts, and corn starch.

12. Beat remaining four eggs whites until frothy, then slowly add in sugar until stiff peaks form.

13. Gently fold in chocolate and nut mixture, and spread over cooled cake. Return to oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

14. When you’re ready to serve the cake, dust the top with cocoa powder.

15. Surprise the birthday girl!

 

 

 

 

 

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