Coffee Meringue-Ice Cream Cake
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon liquid coffee extract (preferably Trablit; culinarydistrict.com), divided
- 1 1/3 cups sliced natural almonds (4 1/2 ounces)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, divided
- 3 scant tablespoons high-quality roasted coffee beans
- 2 1/2 pints coffee ice cream (preferably Haagen-Dazs)
A spoon is used to swirl coffee extract into meringue before baking.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Trace a 10-inch circle on each of 2 pieces of parchment. Turn over parchment, and place each on a baking sheet. Coat parchment with cooking spray. Place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add fine salt and cream of tartar, and beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is almost cool, about 8 minutes.
Using the traced circles as a guide, gently mound slightly more than half the meringue on 1 piece of parchment and the remainder on the other. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract over the smaller mound, and spread meringue into a flat disk, leaving the edge slightly swoopy and the top smooth. Spread out remaining mound into a slightly thicker disk, using a swirling motion, until it is about 1 1/2 inches away from edge of circle. Drizzle remaining coffee extract over second disk, and swirl in extract with a spoon, leaving some of it very distinct and spreading meringue to edge of circle. Bake meringues until crisp all the way through, about 4 hours. Remove from oven, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Raise oven temperature to 325 degrees. Toss together almonds and 1 teaspoon sea salt on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until nuts are deep golden brown, about 18 minutes. Let cool completely. Coarsely grind coffee beans in a spice grinder.
Beat ice cream with a mixer on medium-low speed until slightly softened and mostly smooth, about 30 seconds. Add almonds and ground coffee, and beat until just incorporated. Spread ice cream mixture on flat meringue; sprinkle with remaining sea salt. Top with swirled thicker meringue. Freeze at least 20 minutes or (wrapped in plastic wrap) up to 6 hours. Let sit at room temperature 5 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2012