This decadent dessert is made with layers of crunchy hazelnut meringue with oozing dark chocolate ganache and a delicious Turkish delight sauce. The pomegranate rubies add a beautiful sprinkling of colour and a refreshing zing against the sweetness of the cake.
Recipe and styling by Illanique van Aswegen
Photograph by Adel Ferreira
Pomegranate, dark chocolate and meringue cake
- 6 egg whites
- 340g castor sugar
- 60g (½ cup) blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
- 360g dark chocolate, finely chopped (nothing higher than 70 percent coco)
TURKISH DELIGHT SAUCE
- 300g pink rose-water-flavoured
- Turkish delight, finely chopped
- 80ml (1/3cup) warm water
- 160g (1 cup) pomegranate rubies
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
Line 3 shallow baking trays with baking paper. Place the baking paper upside down on the trays and use a marker to trace the outline of an 18cm cake tin in the centre of each paper. Turn the paper over, ensuring the outline still shows through. This will prevent the ink from baking into the meringues.
For the meringues, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in 4 batches and allow it to dissolve into the egg mixture. Whisk until the meringue mixture is smooth, shiny and stiff.
Spoon the meringue mixture onto the trays lined with baking paper and use the marked outlines to guide you in shaping the meringue rounds to size. Gently sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts onto the meringues. Bake at 140°C for 30 – 35 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the meringues to cool in the oven.
For the ganache, heat the cream in a pot over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat just before it starts to boil. Stir in the finely chopped chocolate and leave to melt gently without heating the mixture again. When it is melted and smooth, allow it to cool at room temperature. It will thicken slightly as it stands.
For the Turkish delight sauce, add the Turkish delight and water to a saucepan and heat over a very low heat until melted and smooth. If the sauce is a bit lumpy, you can use a hand blender to carefully blend it while hot.
To assemble, place the first meringue disc onto a cake stand. Drizzle with chocolate ganache and Turkish delight sauce, and add a sprinkling of pomegranate rubies. Repeat with the remaining layers and serve immediately.
Turn this dessert into 4 individual desserts by baking 12 mini meringue discs instead of 3 large ones. Layer each individual stack as you would for a large one.