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When I asked Teo what birthday cake he wanted for his 15th birthday (!), he almost apologetically requested Chocolate Meringue Torte.
Granted, Chocolate Meringue Torte is a little…involved. But, son, I can appreciate good taste when I see it! Of course you should have Chocolate Meringue Torte for your birthday! You should have Chocolate Meringue Torte for your Tuesday! It is the greatest dessert known to man, and it is way too special to only make an appearance at Christmastime!
Chocolate Meringue Torte is a showstopping pie that my mom introduced to our family when I was young. It is a crispy, melt-in-your mouth meringue crust, topped with a generous layer of deep chocolate filling, and then fresh whipped cream. Mom was a superstar hostess so she always sprinkled milk chocolate shavings over the top. I, on the other hand, have a little bit of my dad’s practical side and I never bother with the chocolate shavings. Would it make it even more special and tasty? Likely it would. But, in the wise words of that one lady…”Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Well, to tell the whole truth, I did rummage the kids leftover Easter candy to see if we had any Hershey’s bunnies that I could shave for the top of Teo’s birthday pie, but alas, they were long gone. (Are we surprised?) So, Teo’s pie was nekked. (I wonder, will internet filters catch the word “nekked” and prevent hungry people with great taste from seeing this recipe?)
Chocolate Meringue Torte Digest
- Start by separating 3 eggs. Place the whites into a large metal mixing bowl and save the yolks in a separate bowl.
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to the egg whites. Then beat the whites with an electric mixer until foamy and thickened. Slowly add 3/4 cups sugar, a little bit at a time, while continuing to beat, until the egg whites are shiny and thick and keep their shape. Do not underbeat. This is your meringue.
- Spread this meringue into an 8-inch circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Then turn off the oven, but leave the meringue in the oven for another hour. After that, remove the meringue from the oven and let it cool completely.
- When you turn off the oven for the meringue, start your chocolate filling.
- In a medium-large saucepan, combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 3 egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups of milk. Add this mixture to the sugar-cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Add 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate pieces. Cook and stir this mixture constantly over medium-high heat, making sure to scrape the bottom constantly. When it begins to boil, cook and stir quickly for another 2 minutes. Then remove it from the heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- Let the filling cool for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then cover it with plastic wrap touching the surface and cool it for another 30 minutes. Finally, chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Assemble your Chocolate Meringue Torte by spreading the chocolate filling over the top of the meringue crust, not quite to the edges. Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
- Before serving, cover the pie with cool whip and chocolate shavings, if desired.
Chocolate Meringue Torte
For the Meringue Shell
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz. whipped topping
- grated chocolate for topping
For the Meringue Shell
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- In a large (clean and dry) glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until thick. Add sugar slowly and continue beating until the meringue is very stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat.
- Spread the meringue into an 8-inch circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn oven off and leave the meringue in the oven for 1 hour. After that, remove the meringue and cool completely.
For the Chocolate Filling
- When you turn the oven off for the meringue, start the chocolate filling.
- In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks and milk. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, whisking well. Add the baking chocolate. Cook and stir over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Heat to boiling. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add vanilla. Cool for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, touching the filling with plastic wrap and cool completely. Then chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Spread the chocolate over the meringue crust, leaving about 1 inch around the edges. Cover and chill for 6-12 hours (12 hours is best). Spread cool whip over the top (and top with grated chocolate, if desired) before serving.