Brandy mascarpone cream
1.Preheat oven 150°C (130°C fan-forced) Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper and draw two 20cm circles on to each sheet.
2.With electric beaters, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar, until soft peaks form then gradually add the sugar. Continue to whisk until firm peaks form. Fold the chopped pecans, dates and chocolate through the meringue.
3.Divide the meringue into four equal portions and spread it smoothly within the four drawn circles. Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes or until coloured and crisp.
4.Melt the extra 100 grams of chocolate. Place a sheet of baking paper over a rolling pin and drizzle the chocolate over to form thin chocolate curls. Set aside to cool.
5.Make brandy cream: Beat cream, sifted icing sugar and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold cream mixture into mascarpone, then fold through brandy.
6.To assemble, place one of the meringue discs on to a serving plate. Spoon a quarter of the brandy cream mixture over the disc and spread evenly. Repeat process, until all the discs are layered, finishing with a final layer of cream.
7.Decorate with the chocolate swirls and a dusting of cocoa, if desired.
Not suitable to freeze or microwave. The meringue discs can be made the day before and stored, once cool, in an airtight container.Note