Smashed chocolate liquorice meringues with whipped cream and cherries
3 medium egg whites
150g soft dark brown sugar
30g cocoa powder
40g soft black liquorice sweets, chopped very finely (optional)
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200ml whipping cream
30g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 120C (fan-assisted). Place the chocolate and the liquorice in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water (don’t let the base touch the water).
Once melted, take off the heat and leave to cool for five minutes.
In the meantime, begin to whisk the egg whites with the salt until very frothy, then gradually crumble in the sugar while whisking continually. Whisk until the egg whites reach quite firm peaks.
Sift in the cocoa powder and pour in the cooled melted chocolate.
Fold until the cocoa powder and chocolate are incorporated. (Try not to over-fold the meringue with the chocolate and cocoa powder. You want to keep as much of the air in the meringue as possible.)
Spoon six heaps onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Bake for one hour and 15 minutes, or until crisp and dry on the outside.
Whip the cream to soft peaks.
Cut the cherries in half (you can keep the stalks on for decoration).
To serve, crumble up the meringue along the serving plate.
Place the whipped cream in a piping bag and make dots of cream randomly in the plate.
Dress with the cherry halves prettily. Use a vegetable peeler or a grater to add little flakes of chocolate to the top.