For the chocolate meringues:
2 egg whites
4 1/2 ozs (130g/1 cup approx.) icing sugar
1 rounded teaspoon cocoa powder, sifted.
For the chocolate cream:
60g/2oz 70% chocolate
2 tablespoon cream
275ml/ 1/2 pint softly whipped cream
Candied coconut (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 150°C\300°F\regulo 2. Cover two baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Mix all the icing sugar with the eggs in the spotlessly clean bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk on full speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Fold the cocoa powder through the meringue and spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe into small peaked shapes and bake for 45 minutes or until set, crisp and the meringues easily lift away from the baking paper. Allow to cool.
Next prepare the chocolate cream. Melt the chocolate in a Pyrex bowl suspended over hot but not boiling water. When the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and stir the 2 tablespoons of cream and mix to form a smooth glossy ganache. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the ganache in three stages. If this is not done carefully the cold whipped cream causes the ganache to firm up and form streaks throughout the cream. If this happens you can still use the cream (next time try to mix the cream in more gently to achieve a smoother finish). Spoon the chocolate cream into a clean piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe a small amount of chocolate cream onto the base of one meringue and sandwich with another. Roll the edge of each sandwiched meringues in the candied coconut so that it sticks to the chocolate cream bulging from the middle. Arrange the meringues on a pretty stand and serve with softly whipped cream on the side.
Candied coconut keeps for ages and can be a delicious addition to many desserts.
225g/8oz desiccated coconut
10 tablespoons simple sugar syrup
Preheat oven to 120°C\250°F\regulo 1. Toss the coconut with the syrup so it is well coated. Spread on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Bake until the coconut is no longer wet, using a fork to toss the coconut around the baking tray from time to time. Allow to cool and store in an airtight jar.