Photograph by Ell.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Introducing my sweet-toothed spin on the good ol' meringue pie. This one is full of chocolatey goodness and while its textures vary, they tie this cute creation together perfectly. I added a touch of luxe by piping on the meringue and adding a few sparklers at serving to really set it off. I hope you enjoy my Chocolate Meringue Pie as much as I do.

What you'll need:
250g chocolate biscuits
125g butter, melted
200g milk chocolate, broken up
1/3 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (optional)
5 eggwhites
1 1/2 cups caster sugar

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 130C. Put a sheet of baking paper over the base of a 20cm spring form pan before placing the spring form side on and clipping it into place. Grease the sides.

Process the biscuits to a fine crumb using a food processor. Add the butter and process again until blended. Tip this mix into the greased pan, pressing it down and out toward the edges firmly. It should be relatively thin as you need to have enough to push up the sides of the pan to make a shell. Once you have it up the sides, even it off and ensure the base and sides are of even thickness. Set aside in the fridge.

Put the milk chocolate and cream in a microwave proof bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir well. If the chocolate hasn't melted, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir well. Repeat the 30 seconds again if needed. When the chocolate has melted stir the hazelnut spread in if you want it. Pour this into your shell and put it back in the fridge.

Use an electric mixer to beat your egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually spoon in the sugar and beat until thick and glossy. To achieve the effect shown in the picture, your egg whites must be stiff. Test this by getting a spoonful of meringue and turning the spoon upside down over the bowl. If the egg whites cling on the spoon they are strong enough to pipe. If they are runny you can have another go at beating them or simply spread the meringue over the ganache and skip to baking.

If you've got good whites and you're confident in piping, put the meringue into a nozzled piping bag and snip the end. Begin pipping drops of meringue close to each other on top of the ganache. The best way to do this is to apply pressure and as the ball builds up, ease the pressure and pull away. You should be left with this droplet shape. Once you have covered the pie with drops, start on the next layer. With this layer the new drops should sit on top of any gaps left. Since your egg whites were stiff enough, your drops should stand up now just as they do in the picture when cooked.

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden. Turn the oven off and leave it in there to cool completely. This will minimise any risk of the meringue collapsing. Once cool, store in the fridge until serving. Enjoy!