Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
What do you do when you have 15 egg whites? When you have so many, it can be difficult to decide exactly what to do. Should you use a few at a time in some dessert? No, that's not ambitious enough. Instead, plan for a grander dessert. That's where this delicious, huge, elegant, beautiful, light, and sophisticated dessert comes in.
Three layers of light, fluffy, sweet, and tempting walnut meringue sit atop each other. Each one made is made from vast amounts of egg whites beaten to form a brilliant white cloud. The eggs are then mixed with sugar, vanilla, and—most importantly—the nutty flavor of walnut to make the crust.
Each layer shelters the rich, thick, and refined coffee cream between it and the next layer, which mixes its flavor of coffee with cinnamon to form a delicious contrast. And on top, a dark chocolate glaze, softened with butter and sweetened with vanilla and sugar, forms a pretty hat for the entire cake The glaze forms a delicious crunch that you smash through when you serve big pieces.
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This dessert is suitable for any restaurant because of how its delicious matching flavors, beautiful presentation, and generous portion size. It's also large enough to provide dessert for a good-sized family for several days. This dessert is sure to be a hit at any occasion. It does take some time to make, to produce the multiple layers, bake then (probably one at a time, since it is difficult to make them all fit into an oven, and you might not have enough layer pans for it), but the result is more than worth it.
Note: I have adapted this recipe from Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home by Trine Hahnemann. Although this is the first recipe that I have adapted from it, I think that it's not too soon to say that this is quite a fine cookbook.
- 3/4 cup + 3/4 cup + 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 lb walnuts
- 2 teaspoons+ 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 15 egg whites
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
- 5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 oz fine quality dark chocolate
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- walnut halves and pieces, (for garnish)
- The first step to this recipe is to grind the walnuts. Using a food blender or a food mill, grind the 1lb of walnuts to a fine paste. In my case, I used 2 1/2 cups of water with this, as my blender would not blend otherwise. Be aware of this if you decide to omit it, as it will change the effects of the recipe. Then add in 3/4 cup of sugar, and mix together well.
- In a very large separate bowl, beat the egg whites. Beat initially at moderate speed and escalate to high speed, adding intermittently the 1 teaspoon salt. Once the meringue has started to be graced with soft peaks, add in the other 3/4 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until the meringue has stiff peaks. Make sure that there is no liquid remaining at the bottom which has not been beaten, which might occur due to the large size of the meringue.
- Add in the ground walnuts, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, folding in gently. Once everything is smoothly folded, pour 1/3 of the mixture into a 10-inch spring-form pan, which is buttered, greased, or provided with non-stick cooking spray along the bottom. This recipe does have a tendency to stick so be attentive. Smooth out the top, then place it into a 350-degree f oven for 35 minutes. If you can fit multiple such spring-form pans in, then do so, but otherwise, multiple batches will have to be done. Put the meringue into the refrigerator during this period: do not re-beat as it will cause it to lose consistency.
- Each time that a layer is finished, place it on a wire rack or at least a flat surface to cool, which should at least take a few hours to ensure that it is completely cool for the next step.
- Once this is done, combine together the 2 cups whipped cream, 1 tablespoon instant coffee, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 5 teaspoons cinnamon, and 4 tablespoons brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Beat it until it is thick and stiff.
- Reserve the flattest layer place for the bottom of the stand. Spread 1/2 of the coffee cream over it. Place another cake layer on top of this, and spread the remaining cream over it.
- Melt 4 oz fine-quality dark chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl for 90 seconds in the microwave. Then add in 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt another 15 seconds. Add in 6 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, stir intensely and microwave a final 10 seconds. It should be smooth and well combined. Wait until this glaze has cooled slightly, then place the final cake layer on top of the two other layers and the cream, and then pour the chocolate glaze over this final layer until it covers it in a fine and thin layer. Place walnut halves or pieces on top as a decoration and to provide some crunch.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least a few hours. Keep it constantly refrigerated after serving.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas