Happy Birthday Minda!
I love meringues, and they’re something I actually mastered as a young child, though how I had the patience for them I will never know. The sweet, crispy, chewy lightness of the meringue cookies made it worth the wait.
Recently I’ve been looking at alternative forms of meringue, and other methods of making them. I made these amazing chocolate mocha meringues last year around Valentine’s Day but of course I can’t remember where I got the recipe from. Do you remember Kª? Perhaps it was an issue of Every Day Food. Who knows …
In an effort to recreate these magic chocolate tasties (and because I had 8 egg whites left over from my foray into vanilla ice cream [post to follow next Wednesday, stay tuned]), I flipped through The Joy of Cooking (2006) for a new take on the old classic. These ones are from page 741, and I doubled the batch (of course).
Now I’ve mentioned this before, but make sure that your egg whites are at room temperature before you start whipping them. If they are cold you can always warm them up by putting them in a bowl of warm water.
Preheat your oven to 225°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a mixer, plop in 1 egg whites, 1 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Whisk ’em up at high speed, and add, gradually, 2/3 cup granulated sugar.
When you get to the stiff peak stage, you’re done.
Sift together 2/3 cup icing sugar with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and fold it into the beaten mixture as well.
If it’s still a little swirly, that’s okay.
Spoon the mixture onto the parchment and shape it however you wish.
I had enough leftover for a large meringue to make into a sort of pavlova.
Bake it for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (seriously). You can see if it’s done if you can remove a meringue from the parchment without it breaking.
Turn off your oven and prop the door open a bit with a wooden spoon. Leave it like that for an hour or so (again with the waiting). The trick with good crisp meringue is to let it cool slowly.
Store the meringues in an airtight container or wrap them tightly for up to three days.
For my little pavlova, I cut up some fruit for the top: raspberries, strawberries, and grapes.
Then I melted some chocolate in a double boiler.
Plopped the berries on the meringue.
Drizzled the chocolate on top. It’s pretty much a pavlova, minus the whipped cream.
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