One of my favourite things about the silly season that surrounds Christmas, is how fun and silly it can be.
Friends gather together for Christmas parties, pre-Christmas catch ups, brunches, gift swaps and lots and lots of drinks. Love the Christmas drinks! And Christmas is the perfect excuse to put booze in everything (like my eggnog tart! And the eggnog cream on my Christmas cake! Yeah!).
So the past few weeks have been full of Christmas lunches and Christmas parties, and on the past weekend, I was requested to bring dessert. And bring dessert I did! A big, boozy, generous, festive-looking, tower of a thing.
Cherries are in season here over Christmas, and chocolate is appropriate at any time, so I figured a boozy black forest meringue cake was perfect for Christmas lunch on a sunny afternoon. And the liquor always adds to the festivities! Kirsch would be perfect, but brandy works too. Whatever liquor you have on hand really, I’m not fussy.
Hope you’re enjoying lots of Christmas parties, and Christmas lunches, and all my Christmas recipes! X
- MERINGUE LAYERS
- 8 egg whites
- Pinch sea salt
- 440g caster (superfine) sugar (2 cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- BOOZY CREAM
- 250g mascarpone (1 cup)
- 250g thickened cream (1 cup)
- 55g caster (superfine) sugar (1/4 cup)
- 30ml kirsch, brandy or similar liquor (1 shot)
- TO DECORATE
- 1 jar morello cherries (370g)
- 1 cup fresh cherries
- Chocolate block, for shaving
- Handful of pistachios, chopped
- MERINGUE LAYERS
- Preheat the oven to 220 C (470 F) and line two sheet trays with baking paper. Trace a 9" circle on each sheet of baking paper, then flip them over.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt until stiff then slowly rain in your sugar, followed by the vanilla.
- Whip on high until the meringue is very stiff and the sugar is dissolved.
- Fold the cocoa into the meringue gently with a rubber spatula.
- Divide the meringue between the two baking trays and spread out into two even discs, using the trace as a guide.
- Place in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 120 C (250 F) and bake for 90 minutes. Then turn off the oven (without opening the door) and leave the meringues in there overnight to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the morello cherries. Strain the cherries very well, reserving the liquid. Place the liquid in a small pot over a medium heat and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, until the liquid reduces to a syrup. Set aside to cool.
- BOOZY CREAM
- Place all the ingredients for the boozy cream in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
- Whip on high speed until medium peaks form and fold a little cherry syrup through the cream.
- TO ASSEMBLE
- Place one meringue layer on your serving plate.
- Top with half the cream, and spread out to the edges. Scatter over two thirds of the morello cherries.
- Place the other meringue layer on top. Spread the remaining cream over the top layer.
- Scatter with remaining morello cherries, fresh cherries and pistachios. Drizzle the remaining cherry syrup everywhere, and to finish, use a potato peeler to grate some chocolate curls over the whole thing.
- Keep refrigerated. Easily serves 12 - 15.
- Happy baking!
Recipe adapted from Tanya Zouev.