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Black forest meringue nests - chocolate swirl meringues with quark whipped cream, cherry compote & chocolate shavings

Black Forest Meringue Nests (Chocolate Cherry Meringues)

Author Domestic Gothess

Ingredients

Meringues:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 275 g (1 + 1/3 cup + 1tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Cherry Compote:

  • 250 g (9oz) frozen cherries
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 7 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • OR use one jar of morello cherries in syrup

Quark Cream:

  • 250 ml (1 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar , sifted
  • 250 g (9oz) quark (or mascarpone)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bar dark chocolate - to make shavings
  • fresh cherries to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 110C/225F/gas mark 1/4 and line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment.
  2. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large, spotlessly clean bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time and continue to whisk until the meringue is very stiff and glossy and the sugar has completely dissolved (rub a little of the meringue between your fingertips, it shouldn't feel grainy at all).
  3. Sift the cocoa powder over the meringue and gently fold it through so that the mixture looks marbled.
  4. Use a little bit of the meringue to stick the baking parchment to the sheet so that it is easier to shape the meringues. Dollop 8-10 blobs of the meringue onto the baking sheets, well spaced apart, and use two spoons to shape them into rounds, create a hollow in the centre of each one.
  5. Bake for about two hours, rotating the trays halfway through, until the meringues are firm and lift away from the parchment cleanly. Switch off the oven and leave the meringues in there to cool.
  6. To make the cherry compote, place the cherries and sugar in a saucepan, mix the cornflour with a little of the water to make a slurry then set aside, add the rest of the water to the pan and bring up to a simmer, stir in the cornflour mixture and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened, remove from the heat and leave to cool, adjust sugar to taste.
  7. OR, if you are using a jar of morello cherries, tip the cherries into a colander placed over a bowl to catch the juices; when the cherries have drained, pour the liquid into a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced and syrupy.
  8. To make the quark cream, whisk the cream with the icing sugar until if just forms stiff peaks then fold in the quark and vanilla extract. If the mixture is too soft, place in the fridge for about an hour until it has firmed up.
  9. Run a y shaped vegetable peeler down the side of the chocolate bar to make shavings.
  10. To serve, fill the hollow in each meringue with some of the quark cream (either dollop it in or put it in a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe dollops in), top with some of the cherries and a drizzle of syrup and sprinkle with chocolate shavings then top with a fresh cherry. Serve immediately.