- Portion size 8 servings
Pecan Meringue: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or greased and floured foil. Using 8-inch (20 cm) cake pan as guide, draw 2 circles on each paper; set aside.
In food processor, chop 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) of the pecans, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the sugar and cornstarch until finely ground.
In bowl and with electric beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff glossy peaks form. Add vanilla. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture; using rubber spatula, fold into egg whites. Repeat with remaining nut mixture.
Divide meringue mixture among circles on baking sheets; spread evenly to fill circles. Bake in 275°F (140°C) oven for 60 to 75 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch, switching baking sheets between top and bottom racks midway through baking.
Using sharp knife and same cake pan as guide, trim meringues into even circles while still hot. Slide long metal spatula under meringues to loosen; carefully transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. (Meringues can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 week.)
Chocolate Cream: In mixing bowl and using electric beaters, beat together cream, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Centre 1 meringue layer on serving plate. Place strips of waxed paper underneath meringue to protect from splatters.
Sandwich meringues with two-thirds of the chocolate cream. Spread remaining cream over top and sides. Chop remaining pecans and press into sides of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Remove waxed paper.
Garnish: Garnish with chocolate curls. To serve, slice with serrated knife.