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pavlova

Serves 8-10

 

100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled

4 medium egg whites

220g caster sugar

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

100g skinned, roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

 

Filling/topping

 

450ml double cream

500g cherries, pitted

1 glass marsala or cherry liqueur

10g dark chocolate, for grating

 

Begin by macerating your cherries. Place them in a bowl and cover with the marsala, toss them through the wine until they are thoroughly coated and set aside.

 

Preheat the oven to 170 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form, then, without stopping whisking, gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking constantly until thick and glossy. Whisk in the vinegar. Pour the melted chocolate down the sides of the bowl, turning the bowl to distribute it evenly, and then fold it through with the nuts, until the meringue is marbled with chocolate.

 

Spread a circle of the chocolate and hazelnut meringue – about 20-25cm diameter on each baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes (don’t worry if it cracks, it will still taste delicious), until they peel away easily from the parchment. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the meringues and parchment onto wire racks to cool. Peel the parchment from the meringues and then, using a wide palate knife carefully lift on onto a serving platter or cake stand.

 

Whip the cream to just soft peaks, being very careful not to over whip, and then drain the Marsala from the cherries into the cream and fold through, along with half of the cherries. Spread just over half of the mix on the bottom layer of meringue, top with the other disc of meringue, the remaining cream mix and then the leftover cherries. Grate over the dark chocolate and serve. This is, in my opinion, even better the day after so feel free to make it ahead and refrigerate.