Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In the Kitchen with Gram...Boccone Dolce!

Okay, so, when Gram suggested today's recipe, I'll admit that I was a little skeptical. I'm sure you all know my, um, aversion to chocolate and strawberries, but because I'm a good sport I figured I'd sacrifice and take one for the team.

And man, oh man am I glad I did!

This dessert? Out of this world. Fancy looking, relatively easy, and delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I received a text from my baby brother (he scored some left over dessert) that read, and I quote, "That was the most flipping delicious dessert ever!"...exclamation points and all.

We're not sure where this recipe originated, it was clipped out of a news paper, with no name to be found, but whomever created it should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Before we get started, let me give you two tips: 1. Don't make this on a humid day, Gram says, actually, never make meringue on a humid day, and 2. Do as the recipe says and let it sit for 2 hours. We did not, and it showed in the sloppy mess we ended up photographing. But, after a couple hours of sitting, it was super easy to kids scored the leftovers that got sent to our house.

First up, make the meringue...egg whites:

Salt and cream of tartar:

Whip until stiff:

Continue to beat and gradually add in sugar until glossy and stiff peaks form.

Mark out 3 eight inch circles on parchment paper and spread the meringue evenly (and as level as possible) on the circles.

Sprinkle with nuts:

Then bake according to directions below!

Whilst the meringue is baking, mix up the fillings which are a chocolate layer (chocolate chips and water), melted until smooth and spreadable:

A whipped cream layer:

And sliced strawberries:

When the meringue is cooked and cooled, begin to assemble ("Assemble de minions!!"-Name that Movie.)

Meringue on the bottom:

Thin chocolate layer:

Whipped cream might need to get in there with your fingers to help spread!

And strawberries:

Repeat layers x3:

 "Frost" the whole "cake" with the whipped cream:

 And garnish with strawberries:

And voila! You've got the most decadent dessert you'll ever eat. I'll admit, I picked through the strawberries and ate the dessert without them (I just. can't. do. chocolate and strawberries. And I clearly know I'm in the minority on this one.)


Gram's Boccone Dolce

Meringue layer:
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 c sugar
3/4 c chopped hazelnuts or slivered almonds

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3 T water
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 250. Meringue: Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until stiff. Gradually beat in sugar and continue to beat until meringue is stiff and glossy. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and on the paper trace 3 eight in circles. Spread meringue evenly over circles, about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle each meringue circle with nuts, approx 1/4 cup on each circle. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until merigue is pale gold (ours didn't get gold at all) but still pliable. Remove from oven and carefully slide to cake rack to cool completely.
Melt chocolate chips and water in your preferred chocolate chip melting method; microwave, stove top, double boiler, etc, stirring until smooth. Whip the cream until stiff, gradually add the sugar to the cream, beat until very stiff.
Place a meringue layer on a serving plate, spread with a thin coat of melted chocolate, then a layer (about 3/4 inch thick) of whipped cream, top with sliced strawberries. Repeat layers three times, on last layer, frost entire cake with whipped cream, decorate with strawberries and extra whipped cream as desired. Refrigerate for 2 hours (very important to ensure that cake will cut well and not leave you with a gloppy mess!), and serve! Serves 8-10 very, very happy people. :)


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