2 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
100 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
400 g cherries, pitted, halved
2 tsp cornflour
¼ cup cherry brandy
¼ cup water
600 ml whipped cream
chocolate curls, or Flake Bar, to decorate
40 g nut and fruit bar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 120°C. Using a pencil, trace a 22cm circle on 2 separate pieces of baking paper. Grease 2 oven trays. Place baking paper on prepared trays, drawing-side down.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggwhites until foaming. With motor running, gradually add 2 cups of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously beating until soft, glossy peaks form. This will take about 15-18 minutes. Sift half of the cocoa into meringue mixture, add chocolate and stir gently to combine. Sift over most of remaining cocoa, then swirl through to create a marbled effect.
- Using a large metal spoon, divide meringue mixture evenly between prepared trays. Sift over remaining cocoa, then spread meringue to edges of circles. Bake for 1½ hours until crisp. Turn oven off and allow meringues to cool in oven with door lightly ajar, preferably overnight.
- Put cherries in a small saucepan with cornflour, brandy, water and remaining sugar. Stir over a medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until cherries become soft and mixture thickens. Remove and set aside to cool completely. (This can be done a day ahead. Store in a covered bowl at room temperature until needed.)
- To assemble, place 1 meringue disc on a cake stand and spoon over two-thirds of the whipped cream, keeping within 1cm from the edge to allow for spreading. Spoon half of the cherry mixture over cream. Top with second meringue, then spread with remaining whipped cream. Spoon over a little of the cherry mixture. Arrange chocolate curls on top. Sprinkle with nut bar pieces, if using. Serve with remaining cherry syrup.