Chocolate Praline Meringue Gateaux by Master Pastry Chef, Shane Smith.
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3 medium eggs
280g brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
70g Cocoa powder
6g bread soda
1.5g baking powder
100g caster sugar
60g toasted hazelnuts
100ml egg white
100g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250ml whipped cream
100g dark chocolate
50ml single cream
10g Vermicelli noodles
50g dark chocolate
Mini eggs to garnish
For the chocolate sponges, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar until thick and pale in colour. Add the water and mayonnaise. Combine. Finally fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bread soda and salt.
Divide this between two lined greased and floured 8” tins and bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
For the praline, simply bring the water and sugar to a golden brown caramel stage and pour onto a lined tray, sprinkle the toasted nuts on top when hot and allow to cool. Once cooled, blitz in a robot coupé until you have a fine praline powder. Set aside.
For the meringue, whisk the room temperature egg whites in a clean dry bowl until double in size.
Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to mix on full speed until thick and glossy.At this point, add the icing sugar cornflour and vanilla and mix until thick and shiny.
Spoon this onto a lined greased baking tray, keep it unformed in size to the chocolate sponges.
Sprinkle half the praline power over the top and bake at 110C for 1 hour. Remove and set aside.
The chocolate ganache, heat the cream and pour over the chopped chocolate, mix until everything is blended and finally add the butter.
For the egg nest simply melt the chocolate and pour over the vermicelli noodles and place in a soup bowl lined with cling film chill. *Note the noodles will give a very realistic birds nest appearance but they may be a little hard to eat so treat this part of the cake as a garnish
Place one chocolate sponge on the cake stand, top this with the pre-baked praline meringue.
Spoon the whipped cream on top along with the remaining praline powder. Top this with the other chocolate sponge. Spoon the ganache over the top and when still soft, top with the birds nest and add a few mini eggs for decoration!