Made In Chelsea sisters Olivia and Fran Newman-Young create a show-stopping tower of festive chocolate meringues, perfect to impress everyone this festive season.
8 Egg Whites
230 g Caster Sugar
210 g Icing Sugar
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
400 g Crushed Hazelnuts
500 g Dark Chocolate
Gold Cake Glitter Decorations and Star Sprinkles
100 g Caster Sugar
25 g Butter
300 ml Double Cream
STEP 1: PREHEAT OVEN
Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1/4. Line 2 baking sheets with Bake-O-Glide non-stick liner or parchment paper (meringue can stick on grease proof paper and foil).
STEP 2: BEAT EGG WHITES
Tip the 8 large egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.
STEP 3: ADD SUGAR
Now turn the speed up and start to add 230g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.
STEP 4: ADD COCOA POWDER
Sift one third of the 210g icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift. Then sift the cocoa power over the mixture and fold this to leave chocolate swirls.
STEP 5: COOK AND LEAVE TO COOL
Scoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Using another dessertspoon, ease it on to the baking sheet to make an oval shape. Or just drop them in rough rounds, if you prefer. Bake for 1 1/2-1 3/4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1/4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. (The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month.)
STEP 6: CHOCOLATE
Melt the chocolate in a pan, dip the flat side of the meringues into the chocolate and before the chocolate cools dip it into the chopped nuts.
STEP 7: WHIP CREAM
Whip the cream in a bowl until you get soft peaks. Then sandwich the meringues together with whipped cream.
STEP 8: BUTTERSCOTCH
To make the butterscotch, dissolve the caster sugar with 3 tbsp water over a low heat. Bring to the boil but don’t stir at all. When the sugar is a dark golden caramel, whisk in butter. Remove from the heat and stir in double cream.
STEP 9: BUILD TOWER
Using the Butterscotch sauce as a cement start making up the base of the tower. Build this up until it is smaller on top, into a peak.
STEP 10: DECORATE AND FINISH
Decorate the tower with gold glitter, edible gold spray and decorations or choice