I noticed that meringues seem to be quite the pudd. of the moment on my recent trip back to the UK. I spotted several patisserie windows filled with huge piles of the almost pillow sized confections, and in many colours and flavours too – with everything from chocolate, to raspberry pink and pistachio green… Forced to take emergency measures when we first moved to Copenhagen (i.e. making my own!) it had never occurred to me to make them anything but plain. Up until now that is…
I have yet to write about our trip to the Black Forest, but needless to say we spent a lot of our time there seeking out and sampling the seventies style gateaux for which the area is so famous, and from which this dessert was inspired (and let me tell you, that well-known retro brand in the UK has a lot to answer for in quite a few instances!)…
I look on this as a summer version of a Black Forest Gateaux, as obviously in Pavlova form it’s much much lighter than the cakey version. This particular specimen was made for a friend’s barbecue a few days ago, and assembled around 5 minutes before our host very kindly came to pick us up – hence the hastily taken photo of the end result below.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
8 large egg whites;
425g fine caster sugar;
2-3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder;
450 mls whipping cream;
1 large jar of pitted black cherries;
1 x 100g bar good quality dark chocolate, grated.
Heat oven to 220 degrees, and in a clean bowl,whisk the egg whites until points form;
Add sugar a little at a time, until the meringue mixture is thick, glossy and stiff;
Add the cocoa powder, and mix through gently to give a marbled effect;
Line trays with baking paper, and sculpt two meringue rounds of a similar size (around 20cm each);
Place in the oven and turn down the temperature immediately to 120 degrees;
Bake for an hour and a half, then turn the oven off, and leave the meringues where they are until the oven is cool.
Whisk the cream, and stir through three-quarters of the grated chocolate (for a more grown up dessert add 2-3 tablespoons of brandy);
Carefully place one of the meringues onto a serving dish, top with half the whipped cream, and a little more than half the cherries.
Place the other meringue on top, and spread with the rest of the cream. Top with the remaining cherries and the rest of the grated chocolate.
Share with others or find a spoon big enough!