• 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

    Serves: 8 – 10
    Cooking Time: Serves: 8 – 10 Time: 2 hrs 15 mins 


    • 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.