Cocoa Meringue

by Marcel Desaulniers - Meringue layer of the Death by Chocolate

4 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.

Using a 9-inch cake circle as a guide, with a pencil trace a circle on a sheet parchment paper cut to fit a baking sheet. Turn the paper over and with trace mark down, place on a baking sheet.

Place 4 egg whites, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high speed until soft peeks form, about 45 to 50 seconds. Gradually add 1 cup sugar while continuing to whisk on high speed. Whisk until stiff about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in and thoroughly combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.

Fill a pastry bag (with no tip) with cocoa meringue. Fill the traced circle with meringue: start in the center and pipe a 3/4-inch wide spiral towards the outside of the circle. Place the meringue in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees F. and bake for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cocoa meringue to cool on baking sheet for 45 minutes before handling.

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