Chocolate meringue layers
6 egg whites
120g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
150g icing sugar
Preheat oven to 90 degrees Celcius.
Prepare your baking sheets by tracing around the base of a 20cm springform cake pan. You will need three sheets (to make 3 meringue layers).
Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl. Mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until almost stiff peaks form.
Gradually add the caster sugar, beating well after each little addition.
Continue beating until all caster sugar has been incorporated, and stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in the cocoa and icing sugar mixture into the egg whites using a metal spoon.
Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.
Pipe onto the marked baking paper. Start in the middle and pipe a thin layer (about 1cm thick) until about 1cm from the edge of the marked border.
Bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes. The tops and bases of the meringues should be hard. Leave in the oven to cool for around another 50 minutes with the door partially open.
Remove from the oven and set on cooling racks until the meringue layers are completely cool. They can then be stored in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble.
Chocolate mousse filling
300ml pouring cream
200g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Beat cream until stiff peaks form. Put aside.
Place butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl. Melt over a saucepan of just simmering water. Be careful not to burn.
Remove melted chocolate from the heat, and allow to cool slightly (around 5 minutes).
In a clean bowl, place the eggs and caster sugar, then whisk until mixture has doubled and is light and creamy in texture.
Whilst still whisking, slowly add the melted chocolate until completely combined*.
Carefully add the whipped cream, a little at a time, trying not to lose the “air”.
Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.
Assembling the cake
Place your first meringue layer on the serving plate.
Line the ring of the same 20cm springform cake pan with plastic wrap (this will assist in removing the ring later on).
Place ring around the first meringue layer.
Pipe approximately 1/3 of the mousse mixture on top of the meringue, allowing some to spill over the side.
Add your next meringue layer on top and repeat.
Add the third meringue layer and finish off the mousse mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If not serving immediately, you can cover the top of the cake with plastic wrap to avoid other flavours creeping in.
When ready to serve, remove the ring and all plastic wrap.
* If your chocolate solidifies when adding to the whisked egg and sugar mix, just transfer back to the heatproof bowl and gently heat over barely simmering water. Stir until all chocolate has been melted and combined into the egg mix.
** Serving suggestions – with fresh in season fruit, with a dollop of whipped cream, topped with shaved chocolate, the possibilities are endless.