Jens jørgen thorsen meringue

Jens jørgen thorsen meringue

Scandinavian Baking
Columbus Leth

This meringue cake with caramel cream is a recipe from the early days of my catering company. One day I was in the kitchen decorating 10 of these cakes simultaneously. My friend Lisa stepped in and saw me at work, throwing chocolate all over the place. She shouted: ‘Ohh, it is just like Jens Jørgen Thorsen’. He, I should add, was a famous Danish painter. So now that’s the name of the cake. Feel free to use any other fruits instead of figs, if you prefer.


Quantity Ingredient

For the caramel cream

Quantity Ingredient
100g demerara sugar
500ml double cream

For the meringue

Quantity Ingredient
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar
pinch salt

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
6 fresh figs
50g best dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids


  1. The day before you need the cake, make the caramel cream. Spread the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar melts and starts to colour: it should turn into a light brown caramel. Add one-quarter of the cream and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. It takes time, so be patient! When the mixture is fully combined, turn off the heat, stir in the remaining cream, then pour it into a bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. For the meringue, preheat the oven to 140°C. Using an electric hand mixer or a food mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in half the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until very stiff. Fold in the remaining sugar and add the salt.
  3. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and draw, in pencil, a 24cm circle on each. Turn the baking parchment over so the pencil marks are underneath, but still legible. Spread the meringue inside the circles. Bake for one hour, then let them cool down on a wire rack, still on their sheets of baking parchment. Remove the papers from the meringues and place the least attractive disc on a serving plate.
  4. Whip the chilled caramel cream until it is light, fluffy and billowing, then spread it on the base meringue. Place the second meringue on top. Cut the figs into quarters and place them on top of the cake.
  5. Break the chocolate into pieces, place in a small heatproof bowl and fit over a saucepan of simmering water; the bowl should not touch the water. Melt the chocolate, then remove from the heat.
  6. Dip a tablespoon in the chocolate, then throw it at the cake, channelling Jackson Pollock (and Jens Jørgen Thorsen!) and approaching from different angles, until you have a wild decoration. Try not to decorate too much of your kitchen at the same time… Serve the cake as soon as the chocolate has set.
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