Frango Cakes

Call it a time-tested family recipe, call it pure genius, call it divinity, it's up to you. All we know is Frango Cakes are one of the best things our family has to offer, and we've never seen them anywhere else. It's time to share the recipe, and if you don't try them, you're certainly missing out.

Frango Cakes are made up of meringue cakes, chocolate mint mousse and whipped cream (Can it get any better?). Here's the recipe for each, with assembly instructions at the end.

Meringue Cakes
15 soda crackers finely ground
1 cup walnuts finely chopped( plus 1/4 cup for garnish)
3 egg whites ( at room temperature) stiffly beaten
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor or by  placing into a zip lock bag and crushing with a rolling pin, finely grind soda crackers.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks and slowly add sugar.  Beat to stiff peaks.  Gently fold in crackers and walnuts.  Line muffin pans with paper liners and give the bottoms of the liners a quick spray with Pam.  Fill with a heaping Tablespoon and bake for 20 min. (approx 20-24 cakes)  Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.  When cakes are cooled completely remove from paper liners.

Chocolate Mint
1 cup room temperature butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 squares baking chocolate melted and cooled
4 tsp real vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
4 eggs

In a mixing bowl fit with a paddle blade beat butter for 30 seconds.  Add sifted powdered sugar, cooled chocolate, vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Add eggs one at a time and beat 3-5 minutes after each addition.  Refrigerate 30-60 minutes before using.

Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Whip cream with electric mixer until it begins to thicken.  Add vanilla and sugar continue to whip to soft peaks.

Assembly: Place meringue cake on plate, top with a scoop of mint chocolate and then whipped cream.  Garnish with additional chopped walnuts or shaved chocolate.
Enjoy (and don't say we didn't warn you that they'd be the best dessert you've ever had).

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