Chocolate Merinque Cakes

10:50 am on 13 January 2014

Rose Gray of the River Cafe in London was famous for her Chocolate Nemesis cake - a rich flourless chocolate cake. This is my version, which I have made as small cakes encased in Italian meringue to suite the white wedding buffet theme.

(Makes 12 small cakes)


  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 65ml water
  • 360g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped.
  • 225g unsalted butter


  • 50ml water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 120 C. Grease and line a 12-hole 7cm diameter patty tin with baking paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs with 11/2 cup sugar until mixture triples in volume - approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan combine reaming 1 cup sugar and water. Boil for 2 minutes. Cool.

4. In a glass bowl, over a pot of simmering water, combine chocolate and butter. Stir until melted. Slowly dribble sugar syrup into melded chocolate, stirring constantly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

5. Using a large metal spoon, fold chocolate mixture through beaten eggs until completely combined.

6. Pour batter into prepared patty tin. Tap the tin to release air bubbles. Place in a baking tray and carefully pour boiling water to halfway up the side of the patty tin. Bake for 1 hour, or until a thin crust forms on top.

7. Remove from oven and leave to cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours before inverting tin onto a tray to remove cakes. Cakes will be very soft.

8. To make meringue combine water and sugar on a saucepan over medium heat. Using a wet pastry brush, removed looks sugar cry7tsals from sides of pan. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and cook with stirring until mixture reaches 11 C on a candy thermometer.

9. Meanwhile m using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form,

10. Continue cooking sugar syrup until mixture reaches 116 c on a candy thermometer, place sauce pan in cold water for a few seconds to prevent further cooking,

11. Slowly drizzle syrup into beaten egg whites. Do not do this too quickly or the egg whites will collapse. Beat on high speed until the mixture cools down (7-10 minutes).

12. Using a palette knife, spread thick coating of meringue over each chocolate cake and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The tips of the meringue can be lightly caramelised with a cook's blowtorch.

Kitchen notes

The cakes can be cooked up to two days in advance, Italian meringue, made with hot sugar syrup which cooks the egg whites, has a firm, glossy set and requires no further baking.

From Summer Noelle

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