A dessert made in heaven. Sinful, self-indulgent and decadent is the only way to describe my ‘Gateau a Etages au Chocolat avec Framboises’
Layers of plain and chocolate flavoured meringue filled with brandy and raspberry flavoured cream. It is then covered in brandy flavoured chocolate ganache and decorated with white chocolate and raspberries.
My dear friend Aree has her unofficial birthday on the 1st January every year. The reason why it is her unofficial birthday is because her official birthday falls on the 28th February and therefore she only gets to celebrate every 4 years. I missed her birthday this year and so when she invited us to a wine-tasting at her house followed by a Thai meal I decided to create a special cake for her. A dessert made in heaven.
Gateau a Etage au Chocolat avec Framboises
6 large free range eggs whites
345g castor sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons brandy
300ml double cream
300ml double Cream
300g dark cooking chocolate (preferably with a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa solids)
2 tablespoons brandy
150g white cooking chocolate. Shaved by running a potato peeler down the side of the chocolate bar.
500g fresh raspberries
Stage 1 – Prepare Oven and Baking Sheets
Heat the oven to the lowest temperature possible. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick parchment paper. Using a plate, outline 2 circles on each tray with a pencil (total of 4 circles) Turn the parchment paper over so that the pencil marks are on the reverse side.
Stage 2 – Make Templates for 4 Meringue Circles
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and dry. Continue beating adding the sugar a little at a time, until the mixture is stiff, smooth and glossy. Put half the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a large nozzle and, using the pencil outlines as a guide, pipe the mixture thickly onto 2 of the circles on one of the baking trays. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining mixture in the bowl and whisk again until the mixture has completely blended and stiff. Repeat the piping process on the second tray.
Put the baking trays in the oven and leave for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave oven door ajar until the meringues have cooled completely. Take out of the oven and remove the meringues from the parchment paper.
Assemble the layers of meringue, alternating plain and chocolate, by sandwiching together with the raspberry cream.
Stage 4 – Make Chocolate Ganache
Chop the chocolate into small even-sized pieces and put into a bowl. Put the cream into a saucepan and very slowly heat until it has nearly reached boiling point. Take off the heat and add the cream to the bowl of chocolate. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Then stir the mixture continuously until all the chocolate has melted and it has taken on a very glossy appearance. Add the brandy and then stir well until it looks very glossy again.
Stage 5 – Cover the Cake with the Ganache
Put the assembled meringue cake on a grid over a baking tray. Pour the still warm ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Leave to set for a little while and then move the cake onto a plate or a cake-board.
Stage 6 – Decoration
Place some of the raspberries around the top of the gateau. Using a palette knife put shaved flakes of white chocolate around the sides of the cake. Sprinkle more shaved flakes of white chocolate on the top and place the remaining raspberries around the base. Leave in the fridge overnight so that it is easier to cut slices.
Voila. A gateau made in heaven
This is another variation I made using strawberries instead of raspberries