Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringue Cake

Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringue Cake is a dramatic finish to a wonderful meal.  The flavor is scrumptious, with roasted chopped hazelnuts, mini chocolate chips and melted chocolate ribbons running through the crunchy meringue.  Enhance the meringue layers with sweetened whipped cream and top it with chocolate shavings, and you have the most lovely dessert imaginable!

Just because it’s stunning to look at doesn’t mean it’s difficult.  I know that some folks see meringue and think there’s no way that I can do this, but I’m here to tell you it’s easy!  There are a few tips to make it foolproof and if you read along, I will give you those tips.  On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this a 4 in degree of difficulty.  So, no excuses!

This is perfect for Passover, where flour and leavening is taboo or for my gluten-free friends.  It is gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat!

Begin this dessert by roasting the hazelnuts. Once roasted, spread the hazelnuts on a kitchen towel, fold the towel around them like a purse and rub the nuts together to loosen the skins from them.  You won’t get all of the skins off, but you should get a good portion off.  I like to remove the skins because they are slightly bitter.  Then, chop the nuts.

You want to prepare a couple of sheet pans by lining them with parchment and drawing two 8-inch circles on one of the sheets and one 8-inch circle on the other.  I usually turn the parchment over once I’ve drawn the circles so that the pen or pencil doesn’t leak onto the meringue.  Don’t worry, you will still see the outline of the circles through the parchment.

So far, so good, right?  Not too difficult, right?  Now, we’re going to work on the meringue…

Place the room temperature egg whites and a pinch of salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form, about 2 minutes.  If you lift the whisk out of the egg whites, the peaks will start to drop back into the bowl after a few seconds.

Then, gradually add the sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat on high until stiff peaks are formed and add the extracts. Now, when you lift the whisk, the peaks don’t drop back into the bowl, but stand upright.  See the photo above.

At this point, fold in the chopped roasted hazelnuts, the mini chocolate chips first, and then add the melted chocolate.  When folding, use a spatula and move through the egg whites in a figure-8 motion.  You are trying to GENTLY incorporate the nuts and chocolate without deflating the meringue.

So, if there is one tricky part, I would say it is the folding.  Just be gentle and you’ll be fine!  Don’t whip it, don’t stir hard;  just gently fold in the ingredients.  And they don’t need to be overly incorporated.  I like to see some streaking of the melted chocolate to give it a marbled effect.

Spread the meringue into the circles on the sheet pans.  Just eyeball the amount for about 1/3 of the meringue in each circle.  Bake the meringues for 2 1/2 hours.  This is done at a very low heat, 225°F.  Once done, turn the oven off, leave the sheet pans in the oven with the door slightly ajar to cool completely.  This can take a few hours so plan accordingly.

When the meringues are cool, make the whipping cream by beating the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until firm.  

Remove the meringues from the parchment and layer a meringue on the bottom, topped with whipped cream and continue until you have three layers of each.

Refrigerate the cake until you are ready to serve it, overnight if you want to make it the day ahead. Garnish the top with chocolate shavings, sprinkles or dust with cocoa powder.  Berries also make a pretty topping!

This is a difficult cake to cut.  For the best results, freeze the cake, cut it with a serrated knife and then serve at room temperature.

Meringue Tips:

Don’t make meringues if the humidity is high.  The humidity will weigh down the egg whites and you’ll end up with weepy, chewy cookies (not ideal).

Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature.  It will be harder to beat them to the consistency we like if they are cold.  Please take the time to bring them to room temperature or place them in a bowl of very warm water for at least 5 minutes.  You might need to refresh the very warm water as the cold eggs will chill the water pretty quickly.

Add the sugar to the egg whites very slowly.  If you add it too quickly, the whites will deflate and you’ll have to start over again.  But, don’t be too slow or you’ll never get done!  It’s a balancing act.  I add the sugar in about 1 to 2 minutes.

If you follow these simple tips, your meringues will be perfect every time

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringue Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Hazelnut and Chocolate Meringue Cake

Makes: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Bake Time: 2 hours & 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours


  • 1 & 1/2 cups hazelnuts (7 ounces)
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (6 ounces)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw two 8-inch rounds on one sheet of the parchment and one 8-inch round on the other.

Spread the hazelnuts on a third baking sheet and toast for 12 to 14 minutes, until browned. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a towel and rub to remove the skins. Chop the nuts. Lower the oven temperature to 225°F.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar at high speed until stiff. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Fold in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate down the side of the bowl and gently fold until the meringue is lightly marbled.

Spread the meringue in the drawn circles and bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes, until crisp; rotate the pans halfway through baking. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the meringues cool completely.

In the bowl of the standing mixer, beat the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until firm. Remove the meringues from the parchment paper. Spread the whipped cream on the layers and stack them.

Refrigerate or freeze the cake overnight. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature. Garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

Recipe from Food & Wine

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