I adore meringues and the addition of chocolate honestly takes them to a whole new level. Don't be tempted to use milk chocolate as it has a very high sugar content and will burn. How beautiful will these be at a NYE dinner party?
5 egg whites
250g caster sugar (I use my vanilla infused sugar it makes a huge difference)
60g Dark melted chocolate
6 strawberries (with the leaves cut off and fanned)
6 cape gooseberries (Physalis) (fold back the papery outer layer)
6 stems of red currants
300ml double cream (whipped)
Gold lustre spray
Milk chocolate shavings
Preheat the oven to 80℃
Whip the whites in a very clean bowl to soft peak stage, keeping the whisk running start adding the sugar a tbsp at a time (don't try rushing) carry on whisking until when you place a little of the meringue between your thumb and forefinger it doesn't feel gritty.
Spoon 6 large blobs onto the parchment lined baking trays, now drizzle each meringue with the cooled melted chocolate, then use the tip of a knife or cocktail stick to make swirls around it.
Bake in a preheated oven or the simmering oven in the AGA for about 3-5 hrs (depending how squidgy you like your meringue). Leave to cool completely before moving from the parchment.
Spoon a sixth of the whipped cream onto each of the meringues, spray the strawberries and cape gooseberries with a little of the gold spray then decorate the meringues with the soft fruits and chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.