This extraordinary dessert, made with crisp chocolate-hazelnut meringue and whipped cream, is simple to make. This heavenly combination of chocolate, meringue and hazelnuts is highly appealing. It’s a terrific do-ahead dessert and one that family and friends are bound to request time and again.
For the chocolate meringue:
- 1 medium/large egg white
- 50 g/2 oz./ ¼ cup caster/superfine sugar
- 2 tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
For the hazelnut meringue:
- 75 g/3 oz./ ½ cup toasted hazelnuts
- 2 medium/large egg whites
- 125 g/4 oz./ 2/3 cup caster/superfine sugar
For the filling:
- 300 ml/ ½ pint/1 ¼ cups double/heavy cream
- 250 g/9 oz. canned sweetened chestnut puree
- 50 g/2 oz. dark/bittersweet dark chocolate. melted
- 25 g/1 oz. dark/bittersweet dark chocolate. grated
Preheat the oven to 130°C/25O°F/Gas Mark ½. Line three baking sheets with nonstick baking parchment and draw a 20.5 cm/8-inch circle on each. Beat 1 egg white until stiff peaks form. Add 25 g/1 oz./ 1/8 cup of the sugar and beat until shiny. Mix the cocoa powder with the remaining 25 g/1 oz./ 1/8 a cup of sugar. adding 1 tablespoon at a time. beating well after each addition. until all the sugar is
added and the mixture is stiff and glossy. Spread onto one of the baking sheets within the circle drawn on the underside.
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and blend until chopped. In a clean bowl. beat the 2 egg whites until stiff. Add 50 g/2 oz./ ¼ cup of the sugar and beat. Add the remaining sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. beating after each addition. until all the sugar is added and the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the nuts. then fold in the remainder and divide between the two remaining baking sheets. Sprinkle one of the hazelnut meringues with the reserved hazelnuts and transfer all the baking sheets to the oven. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 ½ hours. Turn the oven off and leave in the oven until cold. Whip the cream until thick. Beat the chestnut puree in another bowl until soft. Add a
spoonful of the cream and fold together before adding the remaining cream and melted chocolate and folding together.
Place the plain hazelnut meringue on a serving plate. Top with half the cream and chestnut mixture. Add the chocolate meringue and top with the remaining cream. Add the final meringue. Sprinkle over the grated chocolate and serve.