Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes, plus drying out in the oven overnight Makes 12
100g (4oz) dark chocolate 3 large free-range egg whites 150g (5oz) caster sugar For the filling 25g (1oz) cocoa powder 40g (1½oz) icing sugar 150ml (¼pt) double cream 50g (2oz) dark chocolate, to decorate You will need
2 baking sheets, lined with baking parchment
1 Preheat the oven to 150 C, 130 C fan, 300 F, gas 2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted, then remove from the heat to cool. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric beater until very stiff. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continually until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is very stiff and glossy.
2 Pour the melted chocolate over the meringue and, using a metal spoon, gently fold it through to create a marbled effect.
3 Spoon the meringue onto the baking sheets, making 24 small meringues. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven – do not open the door – and leave to dry out overnight.
4 To make the filling, sift together the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Pour in 4 tablespoons of boiling water and mix to a smooth paste. Allow to cool. Whip the cream until stiff, add the chocolate paste and mix well. Sandwich the meringues together with the cream and place on a serving plate. Melt the remaining chocolate, place in a piping bag and pipe a little chocolate over the top of each meringue.