Alright, alright, the bottoms are less black than brown but brown bottom sounded questionable, so I went with it. These are easy meringues with a dark chocolate and espresso ganache for the bottoms. The ganache mellows out the sweetness of the meringue, it is a lovely pairing. I mentioned my friend Angela in the last post, and I will mention her again! These meringues were made in celebration… in mourning… of her imminent departure. Angela is leaving us Vancouver folk for the wilds of the Sunshine Coast, she is moving on to bigger and better things, though we think she’ll come back to us, we’ve got all the beer here!
Black Bottom Meringues
- 6 large egg whites (save your yolks for icebox cookies: to be posted this weekend)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch cream of tartar
- 2/3 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 squares of dark bakers chocolate (or 2 oz of dark chocolate of your choice)
- 2 tbsp of room-temperature espresso or very strong coffee
- 3 tbsp of whipping cream
- Preheat your oven to 175°F.
- Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a large metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, not touching the water, and not boiling water.
- Whisk the mixture constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth and warm to the touch (roughly 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and beat the whites until stiff, glossy peaks form (this is most easily and quickly done with a mixer, but I am sure it could be accomplished by hand).
- Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
- Using a sifter (or a mesh strainer in my case) sift the cocoa over the meringue and stir until no streaks remain. I am not usually this particular about sifting stuff, but my cocoa was lumpy as all hell, so I did it and it worked beautifully.
- Scoop the meringue into a pastry bag or a large ziploc with a corner snipped off. Squeeze out quarter-sized dollops onto your parchment paper.
- Bake for 2 hours, until they lift from the pan easily, mine took a little extra time because I wanted them quite dry. If you want them a little chewy, check after 1.5 hours. Allow to cool completely.
- While the meringues are cooling make the ganache.
- In a small pan over simmering water, melt the chocolate taking care not to scorch it.
- Add espresso and cream and stir to combine, it will come together… trust me.
- Once meringues have cooled smooth a layer of ganache across the bottom, place meringues bottom-up on a baking sheet as you go. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the ganache to set.