Chocolate, praline meringue gateaux

Serves 10

Chocolate sponges

3 medium eggs

280g brown sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

190g mayonnaise

240ml Water

225g plain flour

70g Cocoa powder

6g bread soda

1.5g baking powder

2g salt

Praline

100g caster sugar

50ml water

60g toasted hazelnuts

Meringue

100ml egg white

100g caster sugar

100g icing sugar

10g cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

250ml whipped cream

Ganache topping

100g dark chocolate

50ml single cream

10g butter

Egg nest

10g Vermicelli noodles

50g dark chocolate

Mini eggs to garnish

Method

For the chocolate sponges, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar until thick and pale in colour. Add the water and mayonnaise. Combine. Finally fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bread soda and salt.

Divide this between two lined greased and floured 8” tins and bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes.

Remove and set aside.

For the praline, simply bring the water and sugar to a golden brown caramel stage and pour onto a lined tray, sprinkle the toasted nuts on top when hot and allow to cool. Once cooled, blitz in a robot coupé until you have a fine praline powder. Set aside.

For the meringue, whisk the room temperature egg whites in a clean dry bowl until double in size.

Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to mix on full speed until thick and glossy.

At this point, add the icing sugar cornflour and vanilla and mix until thick and shiny.

Spoon this onto a lined greased baking tray, keep it unformed in size to the chocolate sponges. Sprinkle half the praline power over the top and bake at 110C for 1 hour. Remove and set aside.

The chocolate ganache, heat the cream and pour over the chopped chocolate, mix until everything is blended and finally add the butter.

For the egg nest simply melt the chocolate and pour over the vermicelli noodles and place in a soup bowl lined with cling film chill. *Note the noodles will give a very realistic birds nest appearance but they may be a little hard to eat so treat this part of the cake as a garnish

Assembly

Place one chocolate sponge on the cake stand, top this with the pre-baked praline meringue.

Spoon the whipped cream on top along with the remaining praline powder. Top this with the other chocolate sponge. Spoon the ganache over the top and when still soft, top with the birds nest and add a few mini eggs for decoration!

Enjoy!

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