French Cakes Merveilleux
- sugar - 2/5 cup (100 g)
- eggs - 4 whites, (2/5 cup (100 g)) cold
- powdered sugar - 2/5 cup (100 g)
- salt - 1 pinch
- lemon juice - 2 - 3 drops
- vanilla - 1 tsp, extract
- CHOCOLATE FILLING
- cream - 2 cups (500 ml), high fat, cold
- chocolate - 10.5 oz (300 g) for melting + 7 oz (200 g), grated
Preheat the oven to 203°F (95 °C). Prepare a flat tray, covered with baking paper.
Pour the egg whites into the mixer bowl, add the pinch of sugar. Beat until foamy and add 1/3 of the crystal sugar, beat on high speed.
Add another 1/3 of the sugar and beat 1 min. on high speed, then add the vanilla, the remaining sugar and beat 3 min. The egg white meringue needs to be really stiff.
Remove from the mixer and add the powdered sugar through a sieve. Stir with a spatula until it's fully absorbed. The process is similar to that of stirring up a mixture for French macarons - with a circular motion of the spatula and slight crushing of the meringue.
Put the mixture in a pastry bag with a regular, wide tip and spray out flat circles about 2″ (5 cm) in diameter. Spray in one direction only, like a spiral.
Bake these at 203°F (95 °C) for about 100-150 min. or until you can easily unstick the meringues from the baking paper and they give out a hollow sound when you tap them. Leave them in the oven until they're fully cooled.
Melt the chocolate in a water bath. Leave it aside.
Whip the cream to soft peaks but also until it's thick. Add 2 tbsp of cream to the melted chocolate, stir and return the mixture to the main cream. Stir with a whisk until homogeneous. What you end up with a soft, gentle chocolaty-creamy mousse.
Take the egg white shells out of the oven. Grate the rest of the chocolate as coarsely as possible. Leave it aside, you're going to be using it for dipping the ball-meringue.
Take 2 egg white shells at a time, put chocolaty-cream on one with a teaspoon, cover with the other shell and press them together very carefully and lightly.
Distribute cream on top of the shells all over, excluding their base, with a small spatula. Dip each ball-meringue in the chocolate shavings, roll on all sides.
Store them in the fridge.
Source: MasterChef J. Mielle
Notes: Translated from French, merveilleux means marvelous. And these little cakes really are marvelous, no doubt. The meringue remains very crunchy and covered in a fine chocolate mousse.
When I made them the first time they ended up a bit too large, my mistake. It's best if they're 2″ (5 cm) each. Serve highly cooled.