Giant Chocolate Meringue Swirls

How absolutely divine do these gluten free meringues look! I’ve made these a few times now, and they work really well. They also don’t last very long in the house!

Giant Chocolate-Swirled Meringue Kisses

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself with leftover egg whites floating in a bowl in my fridge. I’m not a big fan of egg-white omelettes (seriously, what is that all about?) so I usually end up whipping them into soft, sweet peaks, ready to be baked into pavlovas or meringues. I would advise that you use electric beaters when making meringue, unless you fancy a laborious upper-body workout!

Ready in 2 hours. Makes 3 giant meringues, or 6 smaller ones.

Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 100 g dark chocolate chips 100 g egg whites (from about 3 eggs), at room temperature
  • pinch of salt flakes
  • 75 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 75 g (¹⁄ ³ cup) caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice or cream of tartar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Method

Preheat your oven to 100°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Set aside to cool.

In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until frothy and very soft peaks start to form. Gradually increase the speed of your beaters (or your biceps, if you are doing this by hand) to medium and slowly add the icing sugar, then gradually add the caster sugar. Keep whisking for 2–3 minutes (or 6–8 minutes by hand) or until the egg whites are shiny, smooth and stiff.

Add the lemon juice or cream of tartar to the egg whites and gently fold in with a metal spoon, taking care not to beat the air out of the meringue mixture. These few drops of acid will neutralise the eggy flavour that meringues can sometimes have, and will also keep them stable and preserve their crisp whiteness.

Add the vanilla and mix gently, then swirl in most of the melted chocolate. Reserve a few tablespoons of chocolate to sandwich the meringues together later.

Dollop tablespoons of meringue onto the prepared tray, about 2 cm apart to allow for spreading. You can use a piping bag if you prefer a less whimsical, free-form meringue – just make sure you have an even number of meringues as you will be sandwiching them together.

Gently place the tray in the oven and bake for 1½–2 hours. If they start to colour, reduce the oven temperature to 80°C. You know the meringues are cooked through when the base is touch-dry. Turn the oven off, leave the door ajar and leave them to cool completely.

Place the bowl with the remaining chocolate over a pan of simmering water to melt it again (or use the microwave). Spread a little melted chocolate over the base of half the meringues and sandwich with the rest to create giant meringue kisses.

Recipe extracted from Love, Laugh, Bake by Silvia Colloca, Macmillan Publishing, RRP $49.99.