Chocolate meringue

You will need:
100g butter
260g (1⅓ cups) castor sugar
100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
3 extra-large eggs, separated
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
240g (2 cups) cake flour
10ml (2 tsp) baking powder
125ml (½ cup) sour cream
125ml (½ cup) berry juice

250g mascarpone cheese
45g (3 tbsp) butter
80ml (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
180ml (¾ cup) icing sugar
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
Raspberry jam

3 extra-large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
150g (¾ cup) castor sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 x 23cm cake pans. For the cake, cream the butter and 200g (1 cup) of castor sugar together in a bowl. Beat in the melted chocolate, egg yolks and vanilla essence. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Add the flour, sour cream and juice alternately to the butter mixture, beating gently after each addition. Start and end with the flour. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form, and gradually add the remaining castor sugar. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is cool, cut each cake in half horizontally, to make 4 layers.

For the icing, beat the mascarpone cheese and butter together in a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar, and add the vanilla essence. Beat until smooth. To assemble the cake, line a baking tray with baking paper and place one cake layer on the tray. Spread the cake layer with half of the chocolate icing and place a second layer of cake on top. Spread with jam and cover with a third cake layer. Spread with remaining chocolate icing and top with remaining cake. (Do not ice the top of
the cake.)

For the meringue, preheat the oven to 240°C. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the castor sugar, beating continuously – the meringue will be stiff
and glossy and hold its shape. Carefully spread the meringue on the top and around the sides of the whole cake. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until the topping is light golden brown. Allow to cool before placing carefully on a cake platter.

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