MANCHESTER

Chocolate Meringue Main

From our friends at Food Heaven, these super meringues taste as good as they look, as long as you use a really good cocoa. They look beautiful piled high on a cake stand for a great centrepiece!

Makes 6

Ingredients

4 free-range egg whites
225g (8oz) caster sugar
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
60g (2oz) milk chocolate melted to decorate

Method

1. Preheat oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. Line a strong large baking sheet (if you use a tiny dot of the meringue mix underneath the paper at each corner and press, this will keep the parchment in place).
2. Place a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring no water can bubble into the bowl and that the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the water, or you will have scrambled eggs. Put the egg whites and caster sugar into the bowl, then stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch. Immediately remove from the heat.
3. Whisk with an electric whisk for about 10-15 mins until the meringue is very thick, white and glossy. Add the cornflour, then mix. Sieve in the cocoa powder and, using a large metal spoon, very lightly fold into the meringue using just 2 or 3 folds. Don't mix it thoroughly as you want swirls of chocolate.
4. Spoon the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet in six large spoonfuls, making a tall peak by encouraging the meringue up with the spoon. Put the baking sheet in the oven, reduce the oven to 120°C/Gas Mark 1/2, then cook for 1 hour 15 mins. Turn off the oven, but leave the meringues inside until completely cold.
5. Once cold and crispy on the outside, melt your milk chocolate in a bowl over hot water and drizzle in a back and forth motion across the top of the meringues. Serve with extra-thick cream and berries for a stunning dessert.

TIP
Meringues can be made well in advance, simply keep dry and cool in an airtight container.

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