CHO­CO­LATE MERINGUE CAKE

Country Style - - HOME COOKING CHOCOLATE -

Serves 8–10 (See pho­to­graph, page 85) 240g dark cho­co­late, chopped 180g un­salted but­ter, chopped 2 eggs ex­tra 4 eggs, sep­a­rated ½ cup light brown sugar 1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract ⅓ cup plain flour, sifted ½ tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der, sifted ⅓ cup al­mond meal 1 cup caster sugar 1 tea­spoon white vine­gar 3 tea­spoons corn­flour, sifted ¼ cup co­coa, sifted ex­tra co­coa, for dust­ing

Pre­heat oven to 160°C. Line base and sides of a 24cm round spring­form pan with bak­ing paper. Place cho­co­late and but­ter in a medium saucepan over a low heat, and stir un­til melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Us­ing an elec­tric mixer, whisk eggs, egg yolks, light brown sugar and vanilla ex­tract for 3–4 min­utes or un­til pale and thick. Add melted cho­co­late mix­ture, flour, bak­ing pow­der and al­mond meal, and gen­tly fold to com­bine. Pour mix­ture into pre­pared pan and bake for 35–40 min­utes. Cool slightly. In­crease oven tem­per­a­ture to 180°C. Us­ing an elec­tric mixer fit­ted with a clean, dry whisk at­tach­ment, beat egg­whites in a clean, dry bowl on high speed un­til soft peaks form. Add caster sugar, 1 ta­ble­spoon at a time, whisk­ing for 30 sec­onds af­ter each ad­di­tion be­fore adding more. Scrape down side of bowl, add vine­gar and whisk for 2–3 min­utes or un­til meringue is thick and glossy. Add corn­flour and co­coa and gen­tly fold to com­bine. Spoon meringue onto cake in pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20–25 min­utes or un­til meringue is golden and crisp. Cool in pan for 15–20 min­utes. Gen­tly run a knife around inside edge of pan and re­move ring. Al­low cake to cool to room tem­per­a­ture, then re­frig­er­ate for 2 hours. Dust with ex­tra co­coa to serve. NOTE Don’t worry if the cake cracks a lit­tle — it’s sup­posed to look rus­tic.

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