Chocolate Coffee Meringue Cake

The filling and icing on this cake is delicious - something special. It's a French recipe for a cake we made on a cookery course whilst I was living there. I needed a special cake for my daughter's birthday, and she loves coffee and chocolate so this fitted the bill as it's a chocolate cake with coffee filling and icing.
It takes a bit of time to make as there are several stages, but I think it's worth the effort.

For the cake: you need 125g of dark chocolate, 150g butter,125g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 75g flour and 1 tspn baking powder and 75g ground almonds.

For the icing and filling you need 150g butter, 125g icing sugar, 2 egg whites, 1 tspn instant coffee and 1 tbspn warm water.

Preheat oven 150C/gas 2 or 3  - it's baked in quite a cool oven.
Grease and base line a 20cm springform tin.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks and caster sugar till white and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture, flour and baking powder and ground almonds and mix well. Whisk the 4 egg whites into stiff peaks and fold carefully into the batter.
Bake for an hour then cool on a wire rack.

Filling and icing:
Mix the coffee powder and warm water together then add 25g of the butter and mix together.
Put the egg whites in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk them with the icing sugar to get a firm meringue. Take pan off the heat and add the coffee mixture and gently mix together.Cream the rest of the butter [125g] then add, a little a time, to the meringue mixture. Put the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.

When the cake's cool and the meringue chilled, cut the cake into 3 rounds. Put some meringue filling on each round and assemble cake. Cover the outside of cake with the rest of the meringue mixture and put in fridge for several hours before serving.

It's a good idea to make the cake the day before you need it, and you could decorate the top with grated chocolate or chocolate curls etc or flaked almonds, but I decided to leave it plain. I bought a couple of large candles which made up her age, and lit these separately [well a lady doesn't give her age away online does she?].

The cake is nice and moist and has a great chocolate flavour.It has a soft texture which goes well with the creamy filling. The icing is very rich and the coffee gives a quite subtle flavour. You could use more coffee powder to get a more definite flavour.
Take it out of the fridge a while before you need it, so it's not too cold to eat!

Most French cake recipes I've tried just say that the cake tin you need is a 'moule à manqué', but doesn't say a size. I'm not sure if this cake tin is maybe just one size? I brought one back and it's 25cm, but not very deep. I used a deep 20cm springform tin to give the cake 3 good layers.


Beautiful cake - so perfect!
Now that's a great special occasion cake. Seriously special. I'm glad I'm not the only one that finds the lack of details about tin sizes in French recipes a bit odd. I've bought 3 tins in France over the years described as 'moule à manqué' and they're all different diameters and depths. I did ask a French baker once why the size wasn't specified but she seemed to think I was being a troublemaker and that it should be obvious which size to use. Well, it's not always évident to me, I'm afraid.
Snowy said…
I agree about the sizes - it's difficult to know which size to use. Didn't realise you could get different sizes and depths. Thanks.
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