Espresso and dark chocolate vacherin might sound a little intimidating, but this dessert is basically just a combination of coffee, cream, chocolate, and meringue. The rich flavours are definitely worth the effort. Who can resist decadence like this?
Recipe by Jacques Erusmus
Espresso and dark chocolate vacherin
- 12 egg whites, room temperature
- 540g castor sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 7,5ml (1½ tsp) white wine vinegar
- 400g good quality dark chocolate
- 50ml vanilla liqueur or any other liqueur
- 125ml (½ cup) espresso
- 500ml (2 cups) whipping cream
- cacao powder, for dusting
- fresh berries, to serve
Preheat the oven to 130°C.
Place the egg whites in a mixer and whisk until the eggs form soft peaks. Add the sugar, 15ml (1 tbsp) at a time, until two-thirds of the sugar has been added. Whisk until shiny, 5 – 6 minutes.
Add the vanilla extract and vinegar, and whisk, 1 – 2 minutes. Fold the remaining sugar into the meringue mixture with a metal spoon and divide the mixture in 2 on 2 sheets of baking paper.
Pipe or lightly spread the meringue mixture to make 2 x 24cm discs. Bake in the oven until they turn a light tea colour and are hard to the touch, 1½ – 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and allow the discs to cool on a wire rack.
Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and remove from the heat. Add the liqueur and espresso, and stir to emulsify. If the chocolate is warm to the touch, allow it to cool a little before adding the cream. Whip the cream until stiff and add one third to the melted chocolate. Whisk through thoroughly.
Fold in the remaining cream and sandwich the 2 meringue discs with the chocolate mixture.
Allow to set for 2 – 3 hours before serving. Dust with cacao powder and serve with fresh berries.