Friday, October 14, 2011

My kind of meringue

October 10, 2011
Recently I made strawberry icecream; it left me with three egg whites. Though Duncan may goad me, I'm too lily-livered to attempt macarons. I have a few white-only recipes tucked away and tagged (David Lebovitz has more still!). The one that appealed most to me was Hannah's chocolate date meringue torte - first because it requires precisely three egg whites, and second because it reminded me of a Soulmama dessert I loved  long ago.

I find meringues a little too sweet and insubstantial but folding in some almond meal takes it to more appealing places. The crust gives way to a more satisfying chew and gentler sweetness. Dates and dark chocolate chips are the perfect accents. I'm always a little intimidated by the prospect of keeping whipped whites airy, but this cake had a lovely lightness in spite of my heavy hand.

The highest compliment I could pay this recipe is that I might find myself having to make yolk-based icecream because of this meringue cake, rather than the other way around.

My kind of meringue
(very slightly adapted from a recipe at Wayfaring Chocolate,
credited there to Good Taste Magazine)

spray oil
120g almonds
120g dark chocolate, chopped roughly or in chips
3 egg whites
110g castor sugar
120g dried pitted dates, chopped

Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a cake tin (mine was ~22cm square) with paper and lightly spray it with oil.

In a food processor, grind the almonds to meal. When they've become a coarse powder, add the chocolate and pulse briefly to chop the chocolate a little more finely and mix it through the almond meal.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Beat them to soft peaks with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the sugar until the meringue mixture is thick and glossy. Gently fold in the almond/chocolate mixture, and then the dates, until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, smooth over the top a little, and bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving.


  1. *dances around the room in sparkly happiness*

    Cindy, I'm so glad you liked this so much! I actually made it again this week too, but because it was just for a dinner party for two, I cut the recipe down by a third and baked it free-form. And it worked! Hurrah!

    P.S. I'm always in the "used egg white for dessert and must search for an egg yolk recipe" camp :P

  2. thanks for reminding me I must make this! I rarely have egg whites hanging about but maybe I will just have to have egg yolks leftover one of these days

  3. Hannah - thanks again for sharing this lovely recipe! Egg whites vs egg yolks... either way it means DOUBLE DESSERT, right?

    Johanna - it's a worthwhile sacrifice if you like meringuey things. :-)

  4. Just made this cake for my gluten-free friends bday tomorrow. Smells amazing cooling - can't wait to try it. Any ideas about what to do with egg yolks other than ice cream (I don't have an icecream maker) and lemon curd?

  5. (Sorry about anon post-my computer won't let me log into my email account for some reason)

  6. I hope your friend likes the cake! David Lebovitz and Maggie Beer both seem to have the odd recipe with using yolks without whites. The one other thing that comes to mind is proper custard! Either to top a pudding or set as a pie filling. :-)