Chocolate and almond meringue cake
For the meringue layers
* 5 large egg whites,
* 1/2 tsp cream of tartar,
* 1/2 tsp lemon juice,
* 100 g caster sugar,
For the cake
* 8 large eggs, separated
* 100 g caster sugar,
* 110 g almonds,
* 120 g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, finely chopped
* 2 tbsp brioche crumbs,
For the filling
* 200 g raspberry jam,
* 3 tbsp cognac,
* 180 ml double cream,
* 2 tbsp icing sugar,
* 10 ml coffee,
* cocoa powder, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 110C/gas Â¼.
2. To make the meringue layers, cut two 20cm circles out of baking paper, grease them well and sprinkle lightly with flour. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and lemon juice until strong and stiff peaks are formed. Add the sugar, continuing to beat gently until mixture is glossy. Spread this onto the two prepared paper circles and place on a baking tray in the oven. Cook for an hour until dry and lightly golden. Cool on racks and keep until needed.
3. Increase the oven temperature to 180C/gas 4.
4. For the cake, line and grease the bottom of 20cm cake spring-form tin. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until mixture is light in colour and very creamy. Add the almonds and chocolate and mix gently. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gradually fold them to the egg mixture. Finally fold in the brioche crumbs and pour the cake mixture in the prepared tin and place in hot oven to bake for 25 minutes.
5. Reduce the oven to 170C/gas 3, and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove and leave to cool completely on a rack.
6. For the filling, empty the jam into a small saucepan and heat gently with 2 tablespoons of the cognac to loosen it slightly. Whip up the cream and add the sugar, the remaining cognac and coffee. Keep until needed.
7. Invert the cake, peel off the baking paper and slice horizontally into two layers. Place one cake layer cut-side-up on a cake platter and spread with half of the jam, then top with a third of the whipped cream. Place the first meringue layer over it and spread with another third of the cream. Top with the second meringue layer and spread with the final third of the cream. Have the remaining cake layer in front of you cut side up and spread generously with the remaining jam, then place it jam side down onto the top of the cream filling to complete the tort.