Helen was inspired to create these after a walk around Kew Gardens with her young sons. It was autumn and the ground was covered in conkers (horse chestnuts). Delighting in her boys delight at the little fallen treats, Helen then had to be the one to inform them that, no, eating conkers was really not such a good idea. Their look of collective bafflement was so great that Helen’s imagination set out to create something that both looks like it has fallen from a tree and, crucially, is eminently edible. These woodland meringues are the result.
We’ve included two versions here—dark chocolate with hazelnuts and white chocolate with freeze-dried strawberries. You can make one or the other or a combination of both—if you're doing a combination of both dark and white chocolate, halve the quantities listed below. We sell them in the shops in little see-through bags, for people to take home or to buy as a gift. They’re a lovely bite-sized way to end a meal or party.
When melted and used as a coating, dark chocolate can develop white streaks after a day or so. This won’t affect the taste but can be avoided by tempering the chocolate. Tempering the chocolate is optional here, however, as the chocolate is covered by the chopped hazelnuts so any white streaks won’t really be seen.
These will keep for up to 10 days, stored in an airtight container. —Helen