I used to not like desserts like this, maybe because I never did them properly, and perhaps also because these tend to really be on the sweater side. But there is just something amazing in this combination of sweet, sweet meringue base - crunchy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside, dark chocolate, orange peel and nuts. Oh man it's good!! And it is not nearly as hard to make as I used to think either, but you end up looking like a rock star. If you like Pavlova, you will love this!
It is best eaten withing the first couple of days because after that it gets a bit chewier, but hey, I didn't complain, even like that it was still delicious...
Meringue Cake With Chocolate and Nuts
1 cup of crystallized sugar
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
(the rule of thumb is that you need 2 Tbsp of crystallized sugar and 1 Tbsp of confectioners sugar per each egg-white, so you can easily make a smaller or larger cake using this rule)
peel from one orange
melted dark chocolate, about 3 oz
1/4 cup of heavy cream
toasted chopped nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or even pistachios
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Start by preparing your cookie sheet and the wax paper. I always draw a circle the size I want my cake to be on the wrong side of the wax paper, and the paper is see through enough that the circle is visible and guides me when I'm spreading the egg-whites.
Mix your egg-whites until they are forming peaks and then start adding first the crystallized and then the confectioners sugar. When it's nice and glossy transfer it to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and using a spatula spread your egg-whites. I like to see a lot of small peaks but you can always make it smoother, whatever you prefer, I just think it's cuter with peaks.
Bake for 30 minutes on 300 degrees and then lower the temperature in the oven to 210 degrees and bake for another hour.
Let it cool and then carefully lift from the wax paper (it may take some jiggling around, but most of the times it comes of nicely) and transfer on your serving plate.
Sprinkle the whole cake with the orange peel and then drizzle with chocolate.
I melt the chocolate with the hot heavy cream and just mix it until it's melted. If you feel it isn't melting enough you can put it into the microwave for 30 seconds and then again mix well.
Lastly, sprinkle the whole cake with your nuts and enjoy!