Based on the beauties in Yotam Ottolenghi's Ottolenghi cookbook, these meringues are made using the Swiss method. For a more stable mixture, heat the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler before whipping them.
6 large egg whites
140g brown sugar
250g castor sugar
1 star anise
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Dutch cocoa, for dusting
Preheat oven to 110C. Place a medium saucepan of water over gentle heat and bring to a simmer. Place egg whites, brown and castor sugar in a heatproof bowl over the saucepan, ensuring the bowl doesn't come in contact with the water. Add star anise and stir to break up the egg whites and mix in sugar. Heat for approximately five minutes, until a digital thermometer reaches 40C.
Remove from heat and discard star anise. Place in a bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and whisk on high speed for about eight minutes, until the mixture has cooled. Gently fold in cinnamon and nutmeg. Place large spoonfuls of mix on lined baking trays, allowing room for the meringues to expand.
Sprinkle over cocoa with a fine sieve. Place in oven and bake for 1¼ hours. When they are ready, they will be dry underneath but still soft in the centre. Remove from oven and allow to cool.