For the meringue:
8 egg whites
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the topping:
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons strong espresso coffee
680 gram (24 ounce) jar of morello (or black) cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
dark chocolate curls and shavings
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a sheet of baking paper on two large baking tray and draw 8-inch rounds.
Separate your eggs making utmost care not to contaminate the egg whites with any egg yolk. Any fat in the egg whites will prevent them from beating properly and will weigh them down.
Beat your egg whites until they are stiff and add your sugar slowly, one tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. Turn your bowl upside down to make sure the whites are stiff enough. If not, beat another minute or so then check again.
Sift the cocoa powder into the meringue and fold through carefully ensuring you leave streaks of cocoa rather than fully incorporating it.
Shape the meringue into the two rounds on the baking paper/trays. Place meringues into oven and immediately turn temperature down to 250 degrees F. Bake for 90 minutes then turn off oven, do not remove meringues until oven is cool.
Drain the cherries into a colander with a bowl underneath it to catch the syrup. Give the cherries a shake to make sure the syrup drains out of them. You will want the cherries quite dry so give them a bit of time to drain.
Pour the cherry syrup into a saucepan and over medium heat reduce it down to a honey-like consistency (about 5-10 minutes). If you over-reduce you can add a little bit of water and whisk through to make it more liquid again. Set aside.
Beat the cream with the coffee until stiff peaks form. With a silicone spatula spread half of the cream over the bottom meringue, place cherries on the cream along with half of the chopped walnuts. Sprinkle half of the chocolate shavings over the meringue.
Place the top meringue layer over the bottom. Spread the remaining cream over it along with the cherries, nuts and chocolate shavings. Top with the chocolate curls. Drizzle the cherry syrup over the entire pavlova.