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Chocolate Meringue Gateau

ingredients

serves 6
3 egg whites.
pinch cream of tartar
140 g (5 oz) caster sugar
75 g (3 oz) ground hazelnuts

for the sponge

50 g (2 oz) plain flour
50 g (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs, separated
100 g (4 oz) sugar

for the filling

225 g (8 oz) plain chocolate
2 egg yolks
30 ml (2 tbsp) water
300 ml (1/2 pt) double cream
50 g (2 oz) sugar
red jam

for the decoration

mixed chopped nuts
chocolate curls
icing sugar

method

1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Draw an 18 cm (7 in) circle on each one.

2. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into a bowl and whisk until stiff. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time until mixture is thick and glossy. Fold in the nuts.

3. Spread or pipe the meringue in the circles marked on the paper. Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 150°C ( 300°F) Gas 2. Turn off heat and leave to dry in closed oven for a further 1/2 hour, or until crisp. Remove and cool. Carefully peel away the paper.

4. To make the cake, sieve together the flour and cocoa. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale. Whisk the egg whites until thick, but not stiff. Fold the flour and egg whites alternately into the egg yolk mixture.

5. Pour into a greased and lined 18 cm (7 in) cake tin. Bake for about 40 minutes at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. Remove and cool.

6. To make the chocolate cream, melt the chocolate. Cool slightly. Beat together the eggs and water. Stir the melted chocolate into the egg yolks, mixing well. Put in a pan and cook very gently for a minute. Cool.

7. Beat together the cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Cover and chill.

8. To assemble the gateau, cut the cake into two layers and spread each with a little red jam.

9. Put a meringue round on a plate and spread with a little chocolate cream.

10. Top with a layer of sponge, spread with cream and place on the second meringue round.

11. Spread with cream and place on the second layer of sponge. Spread remaining chocolate cream over top and sides of cake.

12. To decorate, put chopped nuts round side of cake. Top with chocolate curls and sprinkle with icing sugar.

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