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Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue

by Shannon Meyerkort (follow)
Senior writer for WeekendNotes and Perth Mums Group. Founder of fundraisingmums.com.au
Chocolate (537)      Make Ahead (307)      Desserts (79)      Egg White (1)     
This is one of those dishes that take a little longer to make but is worth the effort. Each step is easy (except possibly rolling the meringue at the end) but you can easily cover any mistakes and people will be so impressed that you made it, they will overlook the fact it is not ‘perfect’.

It is a gooey, crispy, sweet, chocolately log of goodness

If you have a Kitchen Aid or other processor to beat the egg whites, you will find this a lot easier. There are lots of little steps, so you can easily do it across a whole day if you’re not in a rush. Make sure you leave time for the meringue to cool.

The recipe originally comes from ‘Essence’ by Kirsty Carre and Kristen Watts and showcases beautiful West Australian flavours.

Preparation Time: 60 minutes plus cooling time
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, try and find the roasted naked ones
3 large egg whites, room temperature
¾ cups caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
100g pitted prunes, chopped finely
3 tablespoons of your preferred liquor (Frangelico, Pedro Ximenez, rum etc)
300ml thickened cream
75g dark chocolate, chopped
Extra hazelnuts, cocoa and icing sugar to serve

Sift the cornflour and cocoa into a small bowl and add the finely chopped nuts. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line a large baking tray (or Swiss Roll tin if you have one) with baking paper.
Place the chopped prunes into a small bowl and cover with the liquor. Set aside.

I am sure there are other things you can use a KitchenAid for, but I pretty much just use mine to whip eggs

Whisk the egg whites until really stiff and gradually add the sugar in four or five stages until it is stiff and very glossy. This can take ten or more minutes, even in a Kitchen Aid.

The egg whites should be thick, stiff and glossy

Carefully fold in the cocoa and nut mixture, then stir in the vinegar and vanilla.

It needs to resemble a rectangle

Spoon onto your lined tray, taking care to make the edges as straight as possible, and smooth the top carefully.
Cook for 20 minutes, then take out of the oven, cover with a sheet of baking paper and then with a cool, damp tea towel. Leave to cool completely.
Whip the cream with the icing sugar until quite firm. Stir in the prunes with all their juice.
Melt the chocolate carefully; adding three tablespoons of cream to make a sauce (you want it runny).

The chocolate sauce is better if it is runny and not lumpy, but if it's lumpy, pretend it is meant to be like that

Once the meringue is cool and you are ready to assemble it, spread the cream evenly onto the meringue and then drizzle over the sauce.

Having a glass of something nice helps with the scary rolling part

Fortify yourself with a glass of rum, then starting at the short end, roll up the meringue, peeling the paper away as you go. Have a serving plate ready (make sure it is big enough) then carefully transfer the roll to the plate, putting the join at the bottom, or very low to one side. Don’t worry if the crispy top layer of meringue comes away with the paper (mine always does).
If you want to set it aside, make sure you put a layer of baking paper on top before covering with plastic wrap. This can sit in the fridge for a half a day with no problem.
When it is time to serve, using a fine sieve, dust the top with cocoa and icing sugar, then scatter some hazelnuts over the plate.
Wait for the compliments.

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#Make Ahead
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