Also known as Concorde Cake, this chocolate cake is a symphony of exquisite textures, with layers of velvety, dark chocolate mousse melding together with light-as-air, crispy cocoa meringues. Broken batons of meringue decorate the cake and make it a stunner worthy of any special occasion. (Adapted from the San Francisco Cooking School, inspired by Francois Payard).
- 8 large (8 oz) egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (58 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups (283 grams) 60-70% dark chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups (454 grams) heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while whisking, and continue to whip the meringue until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Sift the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl and fold into the meringue until evenly incorporated.
- Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (#806 works well), or ziplock bag with a corner cut off.
- On parchment paper-lined baking sheets, pipe the meringue into three 8-inch rounds, piping in a spiral circle. If you’re using half sheet pans, you should be able to fit two rounds per pan (they can be close to each other since they shouldn’t spread as they bake).
- With the remaining meringue, pipe as many meringue sticks as possible, about 5 inches long.
- Bake at 250°F until crisp, about 1 hour. Cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate and salt in a large bowl over a bain marie. (To make a bain marie, find a large saucepan where the bowl will sit comfortably without touching the water. Bring the water to below simmering point — you should see steam forming but there should be no bubbles in the water, or only one or two lazy bubbles.)
- Meanwhile, in a mixer bowl whisk together the eggs and egg yolk until frothy. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water to 248 F. Pour about a third of the liquid sugar into the eggs and mix on medium-high for about 30 seconds. Repeat two more times, stopping to add the sugar syrup each time. Then crank it to high until the eggs are light and airy, like marshmallow fluff, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl of chocolate from the bain marie. Fold the egg mixture into melted chocolate. (I realize that the whole egg and sugar step is a bit fussy, and you could technically skip it, but if you go the whole nine yards on it, you will be handsomely rewarded with a texture that is just ethereal.)
- Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture.
- Set aside enough mousse to frost sides and top. With remaining mousse, divide in half and assemble layers of meringue and mousse into a 3-layer cake. Chill to firm. Spread remaining mousse over top and sides of cake.
- Press meringue sticks along the side of the cake. You can keep the meringues uniform, or I like a more rough, staggered look. To do this, I cut two different lengths of sticks and then place them alternating short and long.
- Chop the remaining meringue sticks randomly and fill in the top of the cake.
- Chill the cake before serving, and finish with dusting of powdered sugar before serving if you’d like. A serrated knife works best when it comes to cutting the cake.
Make Ahead Note: I personally love the contrasting texture of this cake the day it is assembled, but you can also make it and keep it covered with plastic wrap in the fridge a day in advance. The texture will change a bit — the meringue will soften up slightly and meld with the mousse better.
Alternately, you can make the meringues and mousse a day in advance and then just assemble day of. If you go this route, keep the meringues on the baking sheets after they’ve cooled and wrap well in plastic. Keep the mousse in an air-tight container in the fridge.
This cake also freezes well, just let it come to room temperature before serving.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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