This rich, decadent chocolate cake is offset by a simple, light and fluffy swiss meringue topping that is a showstopper. The cake batter comes together in just two minutes using one bowl, and the meringue is quick to make while the cake bakes. Feel free to add a few tablespoons of espresso, frangelico, amaretto, or red wine to deepen the chocolate flavor. I love to surround the edge of this cake with a quick drizzle of chocolate ganache, made by gently melting a handful of chocolate chips (white or dark, your choice!) with a tablespoon of cream in the microwave. Fresh seasonal fruit is a classic addition to keep this sweet and simple.
***Sidenote: This recipe is not vegan, but perfecting it was my first step in developing my perfect vegan chocolate ganache cake.
Chocolate Ganache Cake with Marshmallow Meringue
Chocolate Ganache Cake
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3 to 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (about one bar)
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c cocoa powder
- I ALWAYS add a big pinch of coffee, small pinch of cinnamon, and a glug of vanilla
- 2 egg whites
- less than 1/8 tsp cream of tartar– the smallest pinch
- 1/2 c sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 6 or 8-inch springform pan. If doubling recipe, a 9-inch pan works nicely.
- Melt the butter and the chopped chocolate in a large bowl in the microwave, about 30-40 seconds, and stir until smooth. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, then cocoa powder, gently folding to avoid a cocoa cloud. And….that’s it! Pour into the buttered pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until cake is set in the center. If a few crumbs stick onto the toothpick when checking the center for doneness, that’s alright.
- Now that the cake is in the oven, work on the meringue. Simmer 1 inch of water gently in a small sauce pan that will fit the bottom of your medium-sized glass or metal mixing bowl. Setting this bowl over the hot water bath, gently whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar for about 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.
- Whisk the mixture on medium speed for about 3 minutes (with stand or hand mixer) until the meringue is glossy, cool, and will hold a stiff peak.
- Once the cake is ready, pile the meringue on top, whether the cake is still hot or not. The fun part is swirling and shaping the meringue, but make sure to leave a border of 1″ around the edges of the cake, and to try to keep the thickness of the meringue fairly uniform at about 3″. A butter knife or spoon helps to swirl beautiful peaks. (I recently used this cake as a delicious stegosaurus torso for my nephew’s birthday, with big spikes along the edges. Get creative!)
- Put that meringue-y beauty back into the oven for about 10 minutes, until the peaks are a rich caramel brown. Once done, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes in the pan. Then quickly run a butter knife along the edges and release the spring pan, allowing the cake to cool for another ten minutes before serving.
- The cake may be removed from the springform base, just carefully use two spatulas to transfer.
- The cake can be made up to three days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use, but the meringue should be freshly baked on the cake within a few hours of serving.
- Grease your serving knife between slices if it is sticking to the meringue.
Much gratitude to the wonderful recipe found at: http://www.onceuponachef.com/2015/03/flourless-chocolate-cake-meringue-topping.html