Rhubarb, rose and chocolate cake with coconut meringue

60 Minutes (including resting time) prep
35 Minutes cook

In our last Market to Table cooking class, Chef Paul Niddrie and the participants made a sensational cake with rhubarb, rose and chocolate with a coconut meringue – aka “Mums older sister: The Nutty Aunt”.  Enjoy.

For the Base

1 x packet Careme chocolate shortcrust pastry (thawed in the fridge overnight)

For the Filling

100g hazelnut meal

100g almond meal

200g unsalted butter softened at room temp

200g Billingtons golden caster sugar

80g plain flour

150g grated 70% chocolate (grated with a fine microplane, keep cool do not melt)

2 free range eggs

½ tahitian vanilla bean seeds

Pinch TEI sicilian sea salt

For the Rhubarb

1 bunch rhubarb (peeled and cut into 3cm batons)

2 tabs Morello Cherry Jam

1 Pinch TEI rose petals (wrapped in muslin)

40 mls water

For the Meringue (Meringue is optional but adds glamour and another dimension of flavour)

150 grams Egg Whites at room temp

300g Billingtons golden caster sugar

½ tsp cream of tartar

80 g toasted desiccated coconut


To prepare, place a 22cm springform tin on a tray lined with baking paper. The tray must be sturdy as we want it to stay flat during the cooking. Further we need to remove the base of the tin as we just want the ring, be sure to place the tin on the tray upside down, so that the lip where the base would clip in is not touching the tray. Finally make sure the springform ring is closed shut. Spray lightly with oil. Preheat oven to 175 degrees.

1. Place all rhubarb ingredients in the base of a medium pot and gently simmer until rhubarb is soft but not stewed. Place aside to cool, drain rhubarb from liquid.

2.Place the pastry on a board and with a sharp knife cut trace the inside diameter of the tin and cut the pastry into a disc. Place the disc inside of the tin on the tray. Prick several times with a fork and set aside.

3.In the base of a stand mixer combine sugar and butter and on low-speed mix till well combined. Do not add air, so low speed only!

4. Add eggs and vanilla to the running machine, the mix will resemble scrambled eggs. Scrape the bowl and mix for a moment longer. Add salt, flour and nut meals, mix till just combined. Remove from mixer and with a spatula fold in the grated chocolate.

5. To assemble the tart spread 1 tbsp of plum jam over the pastry in the ring, spread the well-drained and cool rhubarb over the jam. Top with the hazelnut cake and spread gently as to not disturb the rhubarb. Bake for 32 mins. Cool on tray for 15 mins and transfer to a wire baking trivet.

6. Once the tart is cooled completely, transfer to the serving plate.

7. For the meringue combine sugar, tartar and whites in a heatproof bowl and whisk gently but quickly over a pot of simmering water (Water not to touch the bowl), until the mixture reaches 60 degrees. Transfer directly to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip on high until the whites are thick, glossy and room temperature. (Watch for steam burns when transferring bowl from pot). With mixer still mixing, turn speed to low-medium and add the coconut. Turn off as soon as combined and transfer to a piping bag with a large tip.

8. Pipe meringue onto tart however you please, and finish by toasting with a blow torch.

9. Let cake rest for at least 30 minutes or until cool.

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