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Chocolate Meringue Truffle Cake

by . Featured in FEAST
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Introduction

This is a dinner-party stalwart from a couple of decades back, and I like it no less than I did when I first tasted it, made by my sister Thomasina, about twenty years ago. But I have added something: I make a thin meringue base instead of crumbling biscuits into the tin. This is not hard, not even remotely, and you don't have to worry about anything since you don't want airy puffy meringue, but rather a contrastingly crackling base, with just a hint of chewy marshmallow.

This is a dinner-party stalwart from a couple of decades back, and I like it no less than I did when I first tasted it, made by my sister Thomasina, about twenty years ago. But I have added something: I make a thin meringue base instead of crumbling biscuits into the tin. This is not hard, not even remotely, and you don't have to worry about anything since you don't want airy puffy meringue, but rather a contrastingly crackling base, with just a hint of chewy marshmallow.

Chocolate Meringue Truffle Cake
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Makes: 10-12 slices

Metric Cups

For the Base

  • 1 large egg white
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • drop of white wine vinegar

For the Truffle Filling

  • 400 grams dark chocolate
  • 60 millilitres rum
  • 60 millilitres golden syrup
  • 500 millilitres double cream
  • cocoa powder (to decorate)

For the Base

  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • drop of white wine vinegar

For the Truffle Filling

  • 14⅛ ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ¼ cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • unsweetened cocoa (to decorate)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF. Line a 20cm / 8 inch springform tin with baking parchment and oil the sides with some flavourless oil; almond would be good.
  2. Whisk the egg white until foamy peaks form and then whisk in the sugar a little at a time to make a thick, glossy mixture. Sieve over the cocoa and sprinkle with the vinegar, and whisk again to combine everything. Spread as evenly as you can over the bottom of the prepared cake tin and then put in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Leave to cool while you make the truffle filling.
  4. Melt the chocolate with the rum and syrup in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes or so.
  5. Whisk the cream until it thickens slightly - it should be slightly aerated and have the consistency of thick pouring custard, no thicker. Pour into the chocolate mixture, beating gently until everything is amalgamated.
  6. Pour into the meringue-bottomed tin and cover the springform with clingfilm, and put in the fridge for a night or day, or for up to two days.
  7. A short time before you are ready to serve the cake, take it out of the fridge and let it lose its chill. It will be easier to spring open if the chocolate truffle filling has become less fridge cold, although you don't want soft room temperature chocolate.
  8. Spring the cake free, then transfer to a plate without removing the base unless you think you can with ease (and have one of those big round spatulas). Smooth the sides with a spatula if you want a smarter look, and push the cocoa through a sieve to dust the top of the cake.
  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF. Line a 20cm / 8 inch springform tin with baking parchment and oil the sides with some flavourless oil; almond would be good.
  2. Whisk the egg white until foamy peaks form and then whisk in the sugar a little at a time to make a thick, glossy mixture. Sieve over the cocoa and sprinkle with the vinegar, and whisk again to combine everything. Spread as evenly as you can over the bottom of the prepared cake tin and then put in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Leave to cool while you make the truffle filling.
  4. Melt the chocolate with the rum and syrup in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes or so.
  5. Whisk the cream until it thickens slightly - it should be slightly aerated and have the consistency of thick pouring custard, no thicker. Pour into the chocolate mixture, beating gently until everything is amalgamated.
  6. Pour into the meringue-bottomed tin and cover the springform with clingfilm, and put in the fridge for a night or day, or for up to two days.
  7. A short time before you are ready to serve the cake, take it out of the fridge and let it lose its chill. It will be easier to spring open if the chocolate truffle filling has become less fridge cold, although you don't want soft room temperature chocolate.
  8. Spring the cake free, then transfer to a plate without removing the base unless you think you can with ease (and have one of those big round spatulas). Smooth the sides with a spatula if you want a smarter look, and push the cocoa through a sieve to dust the top of the cake.

Tell us what you think

What 5 Others have said

  • My husband is not a sweet eater... but this is his absolute favorite... I'm about to make it for desert tomorrow night, it will have to be hidden behind something in the fridge....so he can't find it!

    Posted by Deborahjane on 16th January 2015
  • Made this for my brother's birthday this year... HE LOVED IT! And so did the rest of. Decadent, delicious dark chocolate! Serious YUM!...P.S. Made it with brandy and a dash of frangelico instead of the rum, worked a treat!

    Posted by else.uys on 29th April 2013
  • Since i don't like rum i substituted it for liquer 43, thats more my kind of thing. The taste went wonderful with the truffle chocolate cake. But probably you can substitute it for any liquer that you might like(i think coconut or mint infused rums would be great also). The cake was not difficult to make but the time of baking the meringue bottom is a little short i suppose, because it became wet after putting the filling on it(and it still hass to sit in the fridge overnight). So the taste and surely the crackling base where Nigella talks about was completly gone. Next time i bake this cake i think it would be a great idea to brush the meringue bottom with molten chocolate before putting the filling on it, so it won't go to waste. But after all this cake was still amazing!

    Posted by Yfke on 31st May 2012
  • The full chocolate taste is very very rich and decadent. Next time I make this I will try to create smaller individual cakes as I found it hard to serve up a piece of this cake as it is quite delicate to cut.

    Posted by hindll01 on 11th May 2012
  • Oh dear ... do you think I could live on this?! Major yummy.

    Posted by AnnabellGrace on 1st May 2012
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