Smashed Liquorice Meringues with Berries & Chocolate Cream

Love meringue? Give your favourite dessert a twist with this inventive recipe from Rick Stein's Long Weekends. This is a super impressive pud that's bound to wow at any occasion.

Introduction

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.

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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