Photo by Elizabeth Griffin
If you never know what to serve for dessert after a heavy holiday meal, look no further than this delicious,light, and low-calorie chocolate meringue cake. The instructions to make this are not only simple, but makes two cakes so you can enjoy one for dessert and one late at night when company leaves and you've digested.
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- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups fine sugar, plus 2 tsp
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 lb chunk bittersweet chocolate, for grating
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cut a piece of parchment the size of your baking sheet. Use a dinner plate as a guide to draw a circle in the middle of the parchment with a pencil. Flip the piece of parchment over and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with a second piece of parchment on an additional baking sheet.
3. Melt the 1/2 cup chocolate in the microwave and let cool until it is pourable, but not hot.
4. To make the meringue, place the egg whites into a clean, dry bowl and use a hand mixer to whisk the eggs together until very frothy. Add in the 1 1/2 cups sugar in batches and beat until just past soft peaks. Sift in the cocoa powder and the salt and fold to incorporate. Add in the vinegar and half of the melted chocolate. Here you can either fold to combine the mixture fully or you can leave swirls of lighter and darker parts.
5. Divide the meringue mixture in half and place onto the parchment paper within the pencil outline pressing it gently to the edge of the line. Feel free to leave it looking like a cloud or smooth it out; Just don’t mix it too much.
6. Place the sheet pans into the oven and turn the oven down to 300°F. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until the outside is crisp, the top feels dry, and the center is a little chewy. Open the oven door a bit and let the meringue cool completely inside the oven.
7. Place the cream, the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, and the vanilla into a bowl and whip to soft peaks to make whipped cream. Place the remaining chocolate back into the microwave and melt if it has firmed up too much.
8. When the meringue has cooled completely, assemble by placing the meringue on a cake stand. Top with the remaining melted chocolate and then with the whipped cream.
9. Take the chocolate chunk and place it over a burner on the stove just to slightly soften. Use a vegetable peeler to shave curls off the chocolate onto the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining meringue, whipped cream, and chocolate when ready for seconds!
**Note: You can either make two round meringues with this or one rectangular meringue.
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