- 10 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups (1 cup chopped and 1 cup more finely ground) toasted cashews
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional for chocolate version)
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 oz. unsweetened melted bakers chocolate
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, or any other flavoring you prefer.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare four 9-inch pans by greasing them and adding parchment paper to them. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whip the egg whites until they become frothy. Add in the cream of tartar and continue to beat. Gradually (1 to 2 tablespoons at a time) add in the sugar and continue to beat until all of the sugar is incorporated and the egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks.
- Fold in the 1 cup of finely ground cashews and divide the meringue into the 4 pans equally. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown (mine were done after about 23 minutes).
- While the meringues are still warm, remove them from the pans and parchment paper because the paper can be more difficult to remove once cooled.
- When the meringues are fully cooled, line them up on top of one another to trim the edges evenly. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the French buttercream. Beat the egg yolks until they thicken and double in volume.
- Heat the sugar and water until the mixture reaches 235 degrees F (or thread stage). Keeping the mixer on high, slowly pour in the sugar mixture to the egg yolks.
- Be sure to continuously beat so that the egg yolks do not cook and be careful not to burn yourself as well. I had to make Dave come and help me during this stage (he held the mixer while I poured the sugar in).
- Once the sugar mixture is completely incorporated, continue beating on high speed for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture has reached room temperature.
- Then, keeping the mixer on high, beat in the butter one tablespoon at a time until all of the butter in mixed in. Add in the flavoring of your choice and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- To assemble, place a meringue layer down on a plate or cake board and spread a thin layer of buttercream on top. Add a second meringue layer on top of that and repeat until all of the layers are stacked and lightly frosted.
- Finish by frosting the sides and top of the cake and by adding the rest of the chopped cashews around the sides for decoration.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Recipe Source here
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