Smashed Liquorice Meringues with Berries & Chocolate Cream

Rick Stein's Smashed Liquorice Meringues

This is a very Icelandic combination; they love liquorice and chocolate. If you love liquorice, go for 2½ teaspoons of the liquorice powder. If you are unsure, go for a more conservative entry-level single teaspoon.

For how many? Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1-2 1/2 tsp liquorice powder (see introduction)
  • 1/2 tsp black food colouring (optional)
  • 500ml double cream
  • 225g chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), 200g chopped, 25g for shavings
  • 150g fresh raspberries
  • 100g fresh redcurrants

Instructions

Heat the oven to 100°C/gas ¼. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Place the egg whites and salt in a large metal bowl and, using an electric whisk, begin whisking on medium speed. When you reach soft floppy peak stage, add a third of the sugar and the liquorice powder. Keep whisking, and when incorporated add another third, then the final third, and bring together to a fairly stiff glossy mixture. If using food colouring, stir through to give a marble effect.

Dollop the mixture into piles on the lined baking sheet. Bake for about 1½ to 2 hours or until dry and crisp. Remove and cool. Store in an airtight tin if not using immediately.

Make a ganache. Scald 200ml of the double cream in a pan (bring just to the boil then take immediately off the heat) and pour it over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Stir until the cream has melted. Allow to cool to room temperature; do not refrigerate.

When you are ready to serve, use a balloon whisk or electric beater to incorporate the remaining cream into the ganache. It tends to stiffen when left to stand, so make last minute for a light mousse-like texture.

To serve, dollop the chocolate cream along the centre of a large oval platter. Break up the meringues and scatter them over the top, along with the raspberries and redcurrants. Finish with chocolate shavings.

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