This was a fun cake to make. It looks harder than it actually was. There are a few different parts to it, but they’re all basic and easy.
The Hershey’s back of the box chocolate cake recipe is tried and true. It’s my go to recipe when I want a chocolate fix.
Merengue is an easy thing to master as long as you’re patient with adding the sugar, get the egg whites really stiff, and let it cool slowly in the oven so it holds its shape and doesn’t crack.
Ganache? Melted chocolate and cream – not hard at all. Strawberries and cream classics with chocolate and meringue.
Simple, singularly delicious pieces all put together for a #GBBO inspired showstopper. Next time I’ll make it three tiers!
For the meringue “crown”
5 large egg whites
11 oz granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
For the chocolate cake
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups self rising flour or
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup boiling water
For the chocolate ganache
4 oz bittersweet chocolate pieces
¼ cup heavy cream
For the topping
½ cup heavy cream, whipped
1-1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
Make the chocolate cake
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and dust with cocoa powder. Combine sugar, flour, and cocoa in a large bowl. Add egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. reduce speed to low, add water (batter will be thin) and pour into pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire wrack, remove then cool completely. Can be made 1 day ahead.
Make the meringue “crown”
Preheat oven to 350°F. Draw a 10-inch circle on one piece of parchment paper. Draw a 6-inch circle on another piece of parchment paper. Place on un-rimmed baking sheets.
Whisk egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand-mixer until they form soft peaks with the whisk is lifted. Slowly whisk in sugar, a tablespoons at a time until the egg whites become stiff and glossy. Whisk in cornstarch and vinegar.
Spoon or pipe ½-¾ of the mixture onto the 10-inch circle to form a base. Continue spooning or piping a “wall” of meringue around the edge of the circle up to 2 ½ inches high. Do the same on the 6-inch disk with remaining meringue.
Reduce oven to 275°F. Bake 1-1 ¼ hours until the shells are crisp on the outside, but still soft inside. Turn oven off and let cool completely in the oven.
Make the ganache
Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces, stir over low heat until the pieces are melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool until lukewarm, and still spreadable.
Trim the top and sides of chocolate cake so that it will lie flat and fit inside large meringue base. Place cake, upside down in base, cover top and sides with ganache. Top with smaller meringue “crown” fill with whipped cream and strawberry slices. Garnish with additional whole strawberries and meringue decorations.
Note: recipes adapted from Hershey’s Classic Recipes and BBC Food’s Crown Layered Pavlova