I call these Fruits of the Dark Forest Meringues because the meringue has some kirsch and cocoa in it – like a Black Forest Gateau. But it’s topped with a different selection of fruit. There’s no cherries in it.
I absolutely love these. I was experimenting. Never made meringues before. The plan was to try three different types but when I tasted this one I found it so crave-worthy I had to use all the egg to make more of it.
I looked up a whole load of different things online when I was deciding what to make – and they were all very useful. Unfortunately I broke my laptop last week. How? *sigh* Who cares? It’s dead now… So … I may not be linking to exact pages I found most useful – but I’m pretty sure these are them.
Actually I don’t think I found the correct one that includes alcohol in the recipe. I searched for “can I add alcohol to meringue mix” and I got enough results to see that I could. But I can’t seem to find the one I settled on. But the Kitchn link looks good and I’d like to mark it.
Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova. Balsamic vinegar is in the meringue mix here – hence the idea to add some alcohol to the mix. No, I know there isn’t any alcohol in balsamic vinegar. But it’s consistency is more like a liqueur than a vinegar – sort of – don’t you think?
In the first link it is explained that adding cornflour to the meringue mix helps it stay fudgy or marshmallow-like inside the crisp or crunchy meringue exterior. I love marshmallows. And this is how I like my meringues so I added some cornflour. I’m not sure it was necessary because I think the cocoa has the same sort of effect. In fact it maybe made the whole thing more sponge-like. The large version of the meringue wasn’t very crispy or crunchy. I should maybe have cooked it for longer. But to be honest it was so tasty anyway I didn’t care.
Have I mentioned that I love this?
I added a tiny amount of raspberry liqueur to the meringue as well. Why? To be honest I kind of want to use it up. I’ve tried adding it to white wine. Others liked it. I didn’t. I do love the raspberry jelly recipe – but I find it a little to easy to mess up. So… The raspberry liqueur is optional here – but it does actually improve the taste I thought.
I topped the meringue with a chocolate cream. I made the chocolate cream simply to have something to add the egg yolks to – and it turned out great.
What does this taste like? It kind of tastes like chocolate truffles on top of a nicely – but gently – flavoured chocolate meringue and with a topping of sweet creams and berries. Every layer in this has a little dash of alcohol but it doesn’t taste boozy. It just takes like chocolate truffles made with a little dash of alcohol – and all the rest of the stuff.
I love it. I’d live on this if I could. Love it.
I think later in the year I might try making some Black Forest Meringues…
Or should I actually call these Pavlovas? Maybe I’ll make the Black Forest one a roulade.
Oh, this will keep in the fridge for two or three days. So it can be made ahead.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites until they form shiny peaks. Beat in the sugar. The meringue should get stiffer. Beat in a pinch of salt. Then beat in a teaspoon of vinegar. Whisk in the cornflour. Now beat in the alcohol. Fold in the cocoa until it is all well blended in. Sprinkle in the chopped chocolate if using.
On the baking trays mould little circles of meringue with a dips in their centre. The circles should be about 3 inches in diameter. It's very important to leave space between the circles as they do spread when baking.
Place in the oven. Reduce the heat to 130°C Fan/gas mark 2/300ºF and bake until the edges of the meringues are crispy and they look completely dry. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and allow to cool completely.
To make the chocolate cream
Melt the chocolate and butter and mix well together. I first broke the chocolate up in a microwaveable bowl and melted it by giving it about 30 seconds, stirring it and repeat until it was fully melted. Then I stirred in the butter which was already softened to room temperature. Stir in the Tia Maria and vanilla extract. Make sure the Tia Maria is room temperature when you add it in or it might cause the mix to harden a little.
In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they are thick and buttery looking.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks then folk in the eggy mixture. Then fold the chocolate mix into this.
When the meringue is done completely, spoon this chocolate spread over it.
For the fruit and cream topping
In a bowl whisk the double cream until it begins to thicken a little. Add in the icing sugar and whisk until forms soft peaks, (this doesn't take very long so be careful not to over beat). Mix in the kirsch.
Top with a selection of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.
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