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Monday, April 29, 2013

German Chocolate Meringue Cake



Seriously who is excited Spring is here and the warmer weather is here with it.  I am so happy I can do the daily walks with my little one and soon head off to the cottage on the weekends.
With the warm weather comes gardening and lawn care.   I am not a huge fan of either.  I love when my garden and planters look pretty but I hate the maintenance of it.  Does anyone like weeding though?   No.

We have this huge bush in our front garden that grows like crazy and by then end of the summer it is taking over our front walk way.   At the beginning of every spring, I prune it down in hopes it doesn't take over because I honestly never prune it in the middle of summer.  This year however, I may have gone a little over board.   The hubby was not too happy when he saw the cut job I did on this bush.   Oops.   I know it will grow back, we may just have a few weeks of ugly before that happens.  Most of our neighbours have pretty nice lawns and no matter how much we try and take care of ours or hire some one to do it, it just isn't quite great.

I am crossing my fingers 2014 will involve some major renos on the front and back yard.  Until then I will suffer with a mediocre looking lawn and garden.   Maybe I can bribe my neighbours with this cake to look after it for me.



German Chocolate Meringue Cake


INGREDIENTS:

Meringue

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 150g fine granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

Chocolate Pastry Cream

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 50g brown sugar, ground fine
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 300 ml milk
  • 125g dark chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract

Extras

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup caramel sauce



INSTRUCTIONS:
1) Preheat the oven to 285F.  (Yes, it is low)
2) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and trace three 8 inch circles. 
3) In a large bowl or mixer bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.  Slowly add the sugar, spoonfuls at a time.  Take your time with this and beat well after each addition.   Sprinkle the cocoa and vinegar on top and fold in gently until completely incorporated. 
4) Divide the mixture into three discs and spread onto the parchment in the circles.   Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and let the discs cool in the oven.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use
5) Make the Cream : In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together.   Add cocoa and flour, whisking until well combined.  
6) In a medium saucepan , warm the milk and cream until bubbles start on the edge of the pan. 
7) Slowly add some of the warm mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.   
8) Add this mixture back into the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, again whisking constantly allowing mixture to thicken.  
9) Remove from the heat, and stir in chocolate and vanilla.  Let sit for a minute or two then stir to melt the chocolate and blend it all together. 
10) Add the mixture to a heat proof bowl, cover with saran wrap, directly on top of the pastry cream and place in the fridge to cool completely. 
11) Assemble the cake.  Place one meringue disc on your serving plate.   Using an offset spatula spread a third of the pastry cream on top.  Sprinkle on a third of the coconut and pecans.  Drizzle with just under a third of the caramel sauce.  Place another meringue disc on top of this and repeat with toppings, then repeat with disc and toppings one more time.    Saving more caramel sauce for the top. 

Note: Assemble close to serving as the meringue discs will begin to soften.

I am oddly not a cake fan, so the use of meringue disks instead was much preferred.  Crunchy and soft all at the same time. 











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