Hazelnut Merengue Mocha Dessert Cake


Delicious hazelnut merengue dessert cake with layers of mocha chocolate and whipped cream, topped with chopped chocolate and hazel nuts. This gluten free cake make for the perfect dessert cake that will have your guests mmmm-ing of contentment. I make a lot of different cakes, but this one is one of the tastiest. Serve with coffee for the ultimate culinary experience.

Here is how you make it:

1. Draw three 7 inch in diameter circles on parchment paper. Flip the parchment paper so the drawings face down and place on baking sheets (two on one, and one on the other). Alternatively you can use 3 round spring form that are 7 inch in diameter.

2. Combine 1 cup hazel nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. potato starch in a blender or food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground (not too fine though).

3. Put the 6 egg whites in a mixing bowl and mix with an electrical mixer while slowly pouring in 1/2 cup sugar. Keep mixing until egg whites turn completely stiff, about 5 minutes. You should be able to turn the bowl upside-down without spilling anything.

4. Gently fold 1/4 cup whole milk and the nut mixture into the egg whites. Preheat the oven to 275F.

5. Using a spoon, divide the merengue inside the circles on the baking sheets. Bake for 1 hr. and 40 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes on the sheets before removing the parchment paper, then moving the meringues to cool on a rack.

6. Meanwhile heat up one cup heavy cream either in the micro wave for 2 minutes on high, or on the stove top. Remove from heat and mix in 6 oz. of the chocolate and 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder. Stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

7. Once the merengue cakes have cooled off, evenly spread the chocolate mix on top of each merengue and refrigerate until set (about 15 minutes.)

8. Using an electrical mixer, whip the rest of the heavy whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form and it becomes whipped cream.

9. Place one of the meringues on a serving platter and layer cream on top. Add the second merengue and repeat. Lastly cover the top and the sides of the cake with cream and decorate with the remaining 1/3 cup of hazel nuts and 2 oz. chopped and or shaved chocolate.

Her is what you need:

- 1 1/3 cups hazel nuts (1/3 cup should be roughly chopped or divided in half)

- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp. Sugar

- 1 tbsp. potato or corn starch

- 6 large egg whites

- ¼ tsp. salt

- ¼ cup whole milk

- 2 pints heavy whipping cream (divided)

- 8 ounces (divided 6+2) semisweet baking chocolate, 2 oz chopped, and or shaved

- 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder

- 2 baking sheets and some parchment paper

Instructions:

1. Draw three 7 inch in diameter circles on parchment paper. Flip the parchment paper so the drawings face down and place on baking sheets (two on one, and one on the other). Alternatively you can use 3 round spring form that are 7 inch in diameter.

2. Combine 1 cup hazel nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. potato starch in a blender or food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground (not too fine though).

3. Put the 6 egg whites in a mixing bowl and mix with an electrical mixer while slowly pouring in 1/2 cup sugar. Keep mixing until egg whites turn completely stiff, about 5 minutes. You should be able to turn the bowl upside-down without spilling anything.

4. Gently fold 1/4 cup whole milk and the nut mixture into the egg whites. Preheat the oven to 275F.

5. Using a spoon, divide the merengue inside the circles on the baking sheets. Bake for 1 hr. and 40 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes on the sheets before removing the parchment paper, then moving the meringues to cool on a rack.

6. Meanwhile heat up one cup heavy cream either in the micro wave for 2 minutes on high, or on the stove top. Remove from heat and mix in 6 oz. of the chocolate and 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder. Stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

7. Once the merengue cakes have cooled off, evenly spread the chocolate mix on top of each merengue and refrigerate until set (about 15 minutes.).

8. Using an electrical mixer, whip the rest of the heavy whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form and it becomes whipped cream.

9. Place one of the meringues on a serving platter and layer cream on top. Add the second merengue and repeat. Lastly cover the top and the sides of the cake with cream and decorate with the remaining 1/3 cup of hazel nuts and 2 oz. chopped and or shaved chocolate.

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