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Meringue Gelato Cake With Chocolate Sauce

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

I found this recipe for one of the world's easiest but most delicious desserts in a rather fabulous book, by chef and "culinary philosopher" Gioacchino Scognamiglio, called Il Chichibio: ovvero poesia della cucina, which translates as "The Gallant: or the Poetry of Cooking" (and Chichibio, I should also tell you, was a rakish Venetian cook in Boccaccio's Decameron). At Scognamiglio's instigation, I went to great lengths to acquire a bottle of Elisir San Marzano - sadly no longer available - which has a peculiarly Italian, chocolate-coffee-herbal hit. Feel free to use coffee liqueur or rum or, better still, a mixture of the two in its place.

This is a no-churn affair. You mix everything together, wodge it into a loaf tin, freeze and you're done.

I found this recipe for one of the world's easiest but most delicious desserts in a rather fabulous book, by chef and "culinary philosopher" Gioacchino Scognamiglio, called Il Chichibio: ovvero poesia della cucina, which translates as "The Gallant: or the Poetry of Cooking" (and Chichibio, I should also tell you, was a rakish Venetian cook in Boccaccio's Decameron). At Scognamiglio's instigation, I went to great lengths to acquire a bottle of Elisir San Marzano - sadly no longer available - which has a peculiarly Italian, chocolate-coffee-herbal hit. Feel free to use coffee liqueur or rum or, better still, a mixture of the two in its place.

This is a no-churn affair. You mix everything together, wodge it into a loaf tin, freeze and you're done.

Meringue Gelato Cake With Chocolate Sauce
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

Metric Cups

For the Meringue Gelato Cake

  • 300 millilitres double cream
  • 30 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (and/or rum)
  • 100 grams shop-bought meringue nests
  • 250 grams raspberries (to serve, optional)

For the Chocolate Sauce

  • 250 millilitres double cream
  • 125 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (and/or rum)

For the Meringue Gelato Cake

  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (and/or rum)
  • 4 ounces shop-bought meringue cookies
  • 8 ounces raspberries (to serve, optional)

For the Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (and/or rum)

Method

For the Meringue Gelato Cake:

  1. Line a 450g / 1lb loaf tin with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later.
  2. Whip the cream until thick but still soft.
  3. Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of dark splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with the liqueur.
  4. Now, using brute force, crumble the meringue nests and fold these in, too.
  5. Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top, then get out more clingfilm to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.
  6. To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a board and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.

For the Chocolate Sauce:

  1. Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the tiny bits of chocolate.
  2. Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
  3. Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again to amalgamate the sauce completely. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.

For the Meringue Gelato Cake:

  1. Line a 450g / 1lb loaf tin with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later.
  2. Whip the cream until thick but still soft.
  3. Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of dark splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with the liqueur.
  4. Now, using brute force, crumble the meringue cookies and fold these in, too.
  5. Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top, then get out more clingfilm to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.
  6. To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a board and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.

For the Chocolate Sauce:

  1. Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the tiny bits of chocolate.
  2. Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
  3. Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again to amalgamate the sauce completely. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.

Additional Information

For stockists of coffee liqueur please see the Nigellissima Ingredients Stockists list.

For stockists of coffee liqueur please see the Nigellissima Ingredients Stockists list.

Tell us what you think

What 11 Others have said

  • Just did it for my Dad's birthday! Absolutely delicious and so easy and quick to make! I didn't have any coffee liquor, so I put some strong expresso in the chocolate sauce, and it was just fine.

    Posted by NinaAnna on 24th August 2014
  • Made this but added some chopped up Maltesers & Crunchie instead of the dark chocolate - Fab!! Also used Bailey's when I'd run out of rum!!! Both are fantastic!

    Posted by mollybuckley on 13th August 2014
  • Vanton, I think a hot knife would solve your problem. Briefly soak a metal knife in hot water, wipe it down and slice away. :)

    Posted by aleechin on 13th August 2014
  • OMG so simple yet so good. I used bailey's and strawberries and it was sooooooooooooo good. If I can make this anyone can. It went down a treat with my guests. TY

    Posted by mandykeeble on 2nd June 2014
  • I have made this twice and it is just magnificent but I must be doing something wrong as it crumbles when I cut it. Has anyone got any suggestions?

    Posted by vanton on 29th January 2014
  • I am a culinary dunce - but this is so simple that even I could impress my dinner guests. Used maraschino cherries instead of fruit and it made it a bit sweet but heavenly none the less.

    Posted by HAB2109 on 27th December 2013
  • I made this heavenly dessert this morning to serve this afternoon. As I could only get chocolate meringue my recipe is slightly altered. Also I left out the alcohol since I'm still breast feeding. The result is still amazingly delicious. Thank you Nigella for a fabulously easy, but incredibly yummy dessert!

    Posted by sugarmouserl on 13th May 2013
  • I've tried this many times now as its a great hit with guests. Must say, although the original is good, it's even better when made with mint chocolate which goes very well with the rum. Strawberries also work well as a substitute to raspberries.

    Posted by Jenni.t on 11th March 2013
  • I've made it using a little Pedro Ximenez, and adding some flaked almonds as well as the chocolate. De-lish!

    Posted by Chooky on 25th January 2013
  • Just made this. I've swapped the rum for whisky as that was all we had. I've put in a little toasted oats so its actually like a cranachan ice cream cake this time. Hope it works out!

    Posted by debbie72 on 24th November 2012
  • Don't be put off by all the cream, this recipe works wonders! I substituted the booze for Camp Coffee and the raspberries for blackberries, and the gelato's delicious. Nigella gave a useful tip on her BBC show about tearing off cling-film: hold the roll vertically and pull the cling-film down. My days of mashed-up cling-film are over. Thanks Nigella! Hannah http://nr11blog.wordpress.com

    Posted by nr11blog.wordpress.com on 18th October 2012
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