Chocolate liquorice meringues

Undated Handout Photo of Rachel Khoo's SMASHED CHOCOLATE LICORICE MERINGUES WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND CHERRIES. See PA Feature FOOD Khoo. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout/Tony Briscoe/Seasonal Berries. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FOOD Khoo.
Undated Handout Photo of Rachel Khoo's SMASHED CHOCOLATE LICORICE MERINGUES WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND CHERRIES. See PA Feature FOOD Khoo. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout/Tony Briscoe/Seasonal Berries. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FOOD Khoo.

Smashed chocolate liquorice meringues with whipped cream and cherries

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

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

1/4tsp salt

200ml whipping cream

200g cherries

30g dark chocolate

Method

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.