Yield: One 9" round dessert
12 egg whites (360 g), room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 C) and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an 8" round cake pan, trace the 8" circle onto each piece of parchment so you have 3 circles. Wipe 5 Qt KitchenAid mixer bowl with paper towel and some vinegar or lemon juice, to eliminate grease. Using whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add sugar, slowly, and continue beating until it reaches glossy, stiff peaks. Using a small offset palette knife, spread an even layer (apprx 1.5" thick) of meringue over your each of the circle outlines. Bake for approximately 2.5 hours, or until dry and crisp, rotating pans every 20 minutes, and then leave in turned-off oven for another 60 minutes. *Depending on humidity in your kitchen and variance in ovens, this may take up to an additional 30 minutes to bake the meringue. You want to ensure that they are dry all the way through, so as long as they are not browning, you can keep baking them.. Once dry and crisp, remove from oven and leave on tray in cool, dry area, until you are ready to use. Layers will likely have expanded slightly when baked. You can bake 2 trays at a time, and the third layer afterwards.
*I've updated the baking time to ensure the meringue is nice and biscuit-like.
18 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Allow it to cool until thick enough to spread, but loose enough that it will spread easily. To thicken, cover and place in refrigerator. To loosen chilled ganache, you can microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each one, or place in double boiler for a few moments.
Ganache recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
Mascarpone Cream Filling
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream (35%)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) Creme de Cacao (or other chocolate flavoured clear liqueur)
2 cups softened mascarpone cheese
In cold stainless steel mixing bowl and using the whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream with the sugar until thick. Add Creme de Cacao and whip again until it holds its shape. Place mascarpone cheese in a medium bowl, and fold in the whipped cream mixture.
Assembly of Mascarpone Meringue Cake
1. Place 1st meringue layer on doily or cake round. With a small offset palette knife, spread 1/3 of mascarpone cream filling over layer. With a clean small offset palette knife, spread 1/3 of your ganache over cream.
2. Repeat using remaning layers, finishing with ganache.
Notes: Store cake in refrigerator. Cut using a sharp, non-serrated knife in a gentle sliding motion.
Recipe adapted from Lucy Waverman, LCBO Food & Drink Magazine