8 eggwhites (about 280g)
2¼ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp dark cocoa
100g dark chocolate,
400g cherries, pitted, halved
2 tsp cornflour
¼ cup cherry brandy
¼ cup water
600ml whipped cream
Chocolate curls or Flake bar, for decorating
40g nut bar, finely chopped, (optional, see tip, below)
Preheat oven to 120°C. Using a pencil, trace a 22cm circle on 2 separate pieces of baking paper. Grease 2 oven trays. Place baking paper on prepared trays, drawing-side down.
Put eggwhites in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until foaming. With motor running, gradually add 2 cups of the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously beating until soft, glossy peaks form. This will take about 15-18 minutes. Sift ½ of the cocoa into meringue mixture, add chocolate and stir gently to combine. Sift over most of remaining cocoa, then swirl through to create a marbled effect.
Using a large metal spoon, divide meringue mixture evenly between prepared trays. Sift over remaining cocoa, then spread meringue to edges of circles. Bake for 1½ hours or until crisp. Turn oven off and allow meringues to cool in oven with door slightly ajar, preferably overnight.
Put cherries in a small saucepan with cornflour, brandy, water and remaining sugar. Stir over a medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until cherries become soft and mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely. (This can be done a day ahead. Store in a covered bowl at room temperature until needed.)
To assemble, place 1 meringue disc on a cake stand and spoon over ⅔ of the whipped cream, keeping within 1cm from the edge to allow for spreading. Spoon ½ of the cherry mixture over cream. Top with second meringue, then spread with remaining whipped cream. Spoon over a little of the cherry mixture. Arrange chocolate curls on top. Sprinkle with nut bar pieces, if using. Serve with remaining cherry syrup.