Aside from the days ending in ‘y’, there are few occasions where it’s acceptable to eat my own weight in food.* So, huzzah for Christmas and all the wonderful things that come with it! – tonnes of nibbles, great company and (as it turns out) one of the sweetest Secret Santa presents I could have hoped for. I’m sending out a big squeezy hug to you Jess, as a thank you for bestowing upon me my very own Fakery Bakery wooden spoon and tea towel. My heart is still glowing with all the warm fuzzies. ❤
This year, Gary and Andy bravely sacrificed their home to the perils of our group’s festive shenanigans. To distract anyone from asking “who ate all the ham?”**, I brought along this chocolate brownie/meringue hybrid cake. If you’ve read my ‘baking buzzwords’ post, you’ll recognise this as a text-book ‘Superfood’. It’s essentially a brownie, which when half baked, is topped with chocolate meringue and left in the oven to bake to perfection. It’s then wrapped in chocolate and topped with mascarpone cream, natures candy (AKA berries), and raspberry coulis. It all looks a little tricky but it’s actually surprising easy.
All in all, I rate this Christmas 11/10. I hope your Christmas was wonderful too! xx
*Pro tip: Impress friends by eating your cake with no hands. Just your face. Really, the people love it. THEY LOVE IT.
** I once ate an entire ham all on my own. I ate it over the course of a week, but nevertheless, people don’t forget.
Serves: 20 elves
Time: Around 4 hours
CHOCOLATE MERINGUE CAKE (recipe pinched from Donna Hay)
- 360g dark chocolate, chopped
- 270g unsalted butter, chopped
- 3 eggs
- 6 eggs, extra, separated
- 3/4 cup (90g) brown sugar
- 1 1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75g plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- 60g almond meal (ground almonds)
- 330g caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 4.5 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
- 37g Dutch cocoa, sifted, plus extra, for dusting
Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Lightly grease a 24cm-round springform cake tin, line the base with non-stick baking paper and set aside. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. Place the eggs, extra egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 3–4 minutes or until pale and thick. Add the chocolate mixture, flour, baking powder and almond meal and fold gently to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F). Place the extra egg whites in the clean bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking until dissolved. Add the vinegar and whisk for a further 2–3 minutes or until the meringue is thick and glossy. Fold through the cornflour and cocoa and spoon the mixture onto the partially cooked cake. Spread evenly and return the cake to the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the meringue is golden and crisp. Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for 15–20 minutes before gently running a small knife around the edge and removing the ring. Allow the cake to cool at room temperature and refrigerate for 2 hours before decorating.
Note: This cake is supposed to look rustic and uneven – don’t be alarmed if it cracks or collapses a little.
CHOCOLATE SHELL (thanks to SnapGuide)
- 1 cup chocolate melts
Temper chocolate. Measure a piece of parchment paper that goes all the way around the cake. Make any design you’d like on the paper. Wrap it around the cake, and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Carefully peel of paper and admire your masterpiece.
MASCARPONE CREAM (kudos to food.com)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 6 tablespoons caster sugar
Using an electric mixer, whip marscarpone with cream and sugar until thick like firmly whipped cream. Add vanilla. Cover and chill until needed, up to 2 days. (Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature just before serving, optional).
RASPBERRY COULIS (Martha Stewart)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 500 raspberries (frozen is fine)
Combine sugar, berries, and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low; cook until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Remove from heat; cool completely. Place mixture in the jar of a blender; puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh colander, and discard solids.
EXTRA FRILLY BITS
- Fresh berries
- Icing sugar (for dusting)