Totally and Utterly, Ridiculously Decadent

I can’t understand people who don’t like sweet things. It’s just a bizarre concept, sure, I know I am strange needing to end on savoury post dessert but not liking sweets at all, well that’s just plain crazy!

So for all those that are not sweet tooths… you will HATE this. However for those who love a sweet treat, this dessert is a decadent chocolate feast and very easy to make.

Classic Ecco by Philip Johnson

Serves 10

8 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups caster sugar
1 heaped tbsp cocoa, sifted
1 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts

Chocolate Ganache
400 g good quality dark chocolate, such as Plaistowe (or 200 dark, 200 milk)
250 ml whipping cream

250 ml whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp Frangelico (optional)

Preheat oven at 140C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Draw a circle approximately 24cm in diameter on each piece of baking paper.

Whisk the eggs whites and vanilla on high speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold in sifted cocoa powder and chopped hazelnuts.

Using a spatula, divide the mixture between the 3 baking trays, using the circles as a guide and sitting 2 to 3 cm high. Smooth over the surface. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off oven and open the door slightly and allow the meringues to dry in the over for a further 30 minutes.

To make the ganache, chop the chocolate into a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Cool to room temperature.

To make the cream, whip the cream with the icing sugar until soft peaks form. If desired, fold in Frangelico and set aside.

To assemble the torte, spread half the chocolate ganache onto one meringue disc. Place second meringue disc on top. Repeat process, finishing with the final meringue disc.

Dust the top of the torte with cocoa. Serve with generous spoonful of cream.

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