Full disclosure, these were a happy accident in my kitchen. I initially tried to make little meringue cups, fill them with grapefruit curd, and top with candied ginger. They turned out well, but the curd was a bit too runny for the cups, and the cups were not perfect – they require mad piping skills. I’m good, but not that good! They took a lot of time and attention. I had left over meringue, and, tired of piping, decided to throw in some dark chocolate ganache I had left over from the other day (that’s normal right?) I added a little chili powder, plopped them down on a pan, and baked them along with the cups.
Anyhow, when it was all said and done, looking at those little cups, and curd, and ginger… it all just seemed too complicated and time consuming for the result. They were good… but I was underwhelmed. These dark chocolate meringues, though, the ones I threw together on a whim? They were STELLAR. Don’t you hate/love when that happens?
Meringues, especially free form ones like this, are what I like to call “effortlessly elegant”. Lazy gourmet. There are 4 ingredients in the meringue, 3 in the ganache; you need about 20 minutes to whip ’em up, and then you just need to wait. A perfect light dessert for summer, though they don’t keep very long in humility. Make sure to store them in an air tight container.
I might try again with those fancy meringue cups, but I’m unsure mine will ever look as good as Pretty Simple Sweet’s. I mean, look at those things. She’s a rockstar. I did find an awesome tutorial by Cookin’ Canuck, which looks much more doable. Either way, you’ll definitely see more meringues in my future!
Dark Chocolate Chili MeringuesPrint Recipe
- 4 oz dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
First, prepare the ganache. Heat the cream in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl until just starting to boil, about two minutes. Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, and pour the hot cream over it so the chocolate is mostly covered. Allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes undisturbed, and then stir so that chocolate melts and everything incorporates. Allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the egg whites into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk high for 2 to 3 minutes until soft peaks begin to form. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk until hard peaks have formed. Once the whipped egg whites hold their shape, slowly add the sugar while continuing to whisk. Add the vanilla and whisk until incorporated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently fold in the cooled ganache, careful not to mix all the way. Using a spoon, scoop a spoonful of meringue and shape it a little with your finger. Drop onto baking sheet. Leave at least an inch between meringues. Place in oven, and immediately lower oven temperature to 250F. Bake for 20 minutes, and then turn off heat. Do NOT open the oven. Allow meringues to cool and crisp in oven for 4-5 hours.