Trust us when we say that the extra bit of work in this recipe is so worth it. Rachel Allen shows you how to make a Mocha Mousse Coffee Meringue that won't be beaten on taste.

Ingredients

For the Meringue:

  • 20g (¾oz) freshly ground coffee
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • For the Mocha Mousse
  • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate (55–70% cocoa solids)
  • 20g (¾oz) freshly ground coffee
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white
  • Pinch of salt

For the Whipped Cream Layers:

  • 200ml (7fl oz) double or regular cream (measure before whisking)
  • To Decorate
  • Cocoa powder, chocolate curls and cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F), Gas mark 2 (I use a fan oven at 135°C for this). Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. To make the meringue, place the coffee, 3 tablespoons water and 50g (2oz) of the sugar in a small saucepan and bring up to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then take off the heat and let the coffee infuse.
  3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric food mixer with the whisk attached, add the cream of tartar and whisk until frothy. Add in the remaining caster sugar gradually and continue to whisk until it holds stiff peaks.
  4. Once the egg white mixture is stiff, stop whisking and pour in every bit of the coffee mixture through a sieve.
  5. Fold it through carefully (you can leave it slightly marbled if you wish), then divide out between the two trays and spread into four ovals, two on each tray, about 20cm (8in) wide and 26cm (10in) long. Make sure the mixture is about 7.5mm (1/3in) thick and not too thin around the edges as they can crack and break when cooled.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour in the oven. If cooking in an Aga, just take them out of the oven and place on top at the side to cool down gently.
  7. Once the meringues have cooled, you can assemble the dessert, although stored in an airtight box they will keep for one or two weeks.
  8. Start making the mocha mousse at least 2 hours in advance so it can set in the fridge before assembling the dessert.
  9. Place the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan with a few centimetres of water. Bring the water up to the boil, then take off the heat and allow the chocolate to melt slowly.
  10. Meanwhile, place the coffee and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and bring up to the boil, stir, then remove from the heat and set aside for 5-10 minutes for the coffee to infuse. When the chocolate has melted, pour the coffee through a sieve into the chocolate.
  11. Separate the two eggs and stir the yolks into the chocolate.
  12. Whisk all three egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Place in the fridge to set.
  13. Whip the cream until just stiff, and place in the fridge until assembling the meringue.
  14. When ready to assemble, place one meringue oval on your serving plate.
  15. Spread over half of the mocha mousse, then top with a second meringue oval.
  16. Cover with half the whipped cream, then a third layer of meringue, which is then covered with the second half of the mousse, the final meringue and the second half of the cream.
  17. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.