MERINGUE DREAM CAKE

Hello from the land of -25°C and random blizzards! But that’s okay. It just makes being inside baking that much more inviting and cozy . . .
And when it doubt, make cake. Especially a pastel wintery wonderland cake. It just makes good sense, right?

Hello from the land of -25°C and random blizzards! But that’s okay. It just makes being inside baking that much more inviting and cozy . . .  And when it doubt, make cake. Especially a pastel wintery wonderland cake. It just makes good sense, right?

Ingredients
For the Baked Meringues:
  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 150 g superfine sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered food colour petal dust in turquoise and pink (or other desired shades)
  • Edible glitter in white optional

For the Chocolate Cake Layers:
  • 2 1/4 cups 285 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups 450 g sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups 160 g dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups 360 ml buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup 240 ml hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs room temperature

For the Swiss Meringue Frosting:
  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups 500 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine salt

For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 5 ounces 150 g best-quality dark chocolate, chopped or callets
  • 3/4 cup 90 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkles for decorating

Instructions
For the Baked Meringues (French meringue):
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (90°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Wipe a stainless stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment with lemon juice to eliminate any grease. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl and whisk on low speed for 30 seconds, and increase the speed to medium. Beat until the egg whites have soft peaks, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and add the sugar 1 spoonful at a time. One all of sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer, add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Divide the meringue into thirds and tint one third turquoise and another pink. Pipe one baking tray of medium-sized meringues and one tray of smaller meringues using different decorating tips of your choice (I used large plain round for smooth meringues, large open star for the textured pink meringues, and a small open star for the small textured white meringues). Sprinkle the white meringues with some white edible glitter, if desired.
  3. Baked both trays at the same time until crisp but not browned or discolored, about 1 hour for the smaller meringues, and 1 1/2 hours for the larger ones. You should be able to gently pull the meringue away from the parchment with no sticking. Store in plastic zip top bags at room temperature for up to 1 week. I made two batches of these meringues to experiment different shapes and sizes, and the leftovers make perfect little treats or gifts.

For the Chocolate Cake Layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Spray four 8-inch round cake pans (or however many you have--you will just have to wash and re-use for the remaining layers) with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment rounds. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in eggs.