Whites of 4 eggs (save yolks for another recipe)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

GET READY: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bain-marie by filling a small saucepan with a few inches of water and bringing to a boil; reduce to a very low simmer, then proceed with meringues.
 
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE MERINGUES: In a heatproof stainless-steel bowl, whisk together egg whites and 1 cup sugar. Set over bain-marie, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk frequently until all sugar granules are dissolved.

Remove the mixture from the heat, then beat on high speed with a whisk attachment or beaters until the meringue is stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes. Sift over the cocoa powder, add the finely chopped chocolate, then gently fold together.

Scoop rounded spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to make individual meringues. Bake for 8 minutes; rotate baking sheet and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until meringues look puffy and slightly cracked. Cool completely.

MAKE THE STRAWBERRIES: In a medium bowl, stir together strawberries and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Let macerate for at least 20 minutes, until juicy and delicious.
 
MAKE THE COCOA WHIPPED CREAM: Whip together heavy cream, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla with mixer until soft peaks form.
 
TO MAKE THE STRAWBERRY-CHOCOLATE ETON MESS: Crumble the cooled meringues into a mixing bowl. Gently fold into the strawberries and cocoa whipped cream, mixing just until barely combined. Divide among 8 serving dishes, garnish with additional sliced strawberries and/or chocolate curls, then enjoy right away!

 

Notes from Hayden: Think of this as a British version of strawberry shortcake—with a chocolaty twist! Like Italian tiramisu, this layered dessert full of meringue pieces, whipped cream, and sweet strawberries is more than the sum of its parts. Sure, it’s messy—but only in the most delectable way! It’s easiest to make with a standing mixer and a whisk attachment, but you can use a handheld mixer—just remember you’ll need to beat the meringue a bit longer.

 

About the book:
As an authority on all things chocolate, Hayden Mundy Moore is traveling across the pond to lend her expertise to the owner of a posh London chocolaterie-pâtisserie. From coconut truffles to chocolate flapjacks, Hayden’s mouthwatering creations quickly impress her client. But her knowledge doesn’t end there. The detective constable is taken by surprise when she identifies an exotic murder weapon: a stone metlapil, used to grind cacao beans—and apparently to bludgeon someone to death—in Hayden’s own lodgings, no less…

About the author:
Colette London is the pseudonym of a bestselling author who lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. In her free time she reads romances and research books by the dozen, practices yoga, and spends time with her family—hiking in the mountains and deserts of Arizona, visiting ghost towns and historical sites, and watching classic movies. Readers can get more information about Colette online at colettelondon.com.

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