Almond cream and meringue with mocha topping
A delightfully rich dessert. Quantities can be doubled for a larger pan. Can be prepared a day or two in advance.
For the meringue (for springform pan 18 centimeters in diameter):
2 egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
50 grams (1/2 cup) ground almonds
For the almond cream:
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch (can be omitted if you don't eat legumes on Pesach)
100 grams (1 cup) finely ground almonds
For the mocha topping:
250 milliliters (1 cup) sweet whipping cream
3 teaspoons instant coffee
3 tablespoons sugar
For the garnish:
Cocoa powder or finely ground pralines
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until very firm. Fold in the ground almonds. Using a pastry bag, make a circle of meringue mixture 1 centimeter thick and the same size as the cake pan, on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Make meringue kisses with the remaining mixture.
Bake for 90 minutes in an oven preheated to 120 degrees Celsius, and let cool in the oven.
The almond cream:
Heat the milk in a small pot until almost boiling. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl with the sugar and corn starch.
Temper the egg-yolk mixture by stirring in about a cup of the hot milk, and return this mixture to the pot of milk, along with the ground almonds. Stir constantly over a low flame (to prevent the yolks from curdling) until the cream thickens. Cool slightly.
Set the circle of meringue in the springform pan or baking ring. Spread with the almond cream and freeze until set.
Whip the sweet cream with the instant coffee and sugar. Spread the whipped cream on top of the almond cream. Freeze again.
To serve: Dust the cake with cocoa or sprinkle with ground nut pralines. Warm the outside of the pan with a hair dryer and remove the cake ring. Thaw completely (at least 6 hours) in the refrigerator before serving.
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