Monday, April 23, 2012

Meringue Au Chocolat

In 1702 Francois Massiolot, a chef in the kitchen of King Louis XIV of France, was the first to name an egg white and sugar confection he'd concocted for the King, “meringue”. Meringues are the little sisters of pavlova, a delicious dessert usually accompanied by whipped cream and fruit. The great thing about meringues is they are portable and they taste good on their own. Meringues can be found in patissieries all over France, often as large as a baker’s hand, swirled with the beautiful colours of fruit syrups.

When we first started our market stall in 2008, we had a lot of requests for gluten free items. We just didn't have the time or resources to come up with a range of GF cupcakes, so each week I'd whip up a batch of chocolate meringues so I'd have something to offer the GF customers. These were the cheapest item on the table, selling for $1.00, and they were invariably always the first thing to sell out.

If ever I have egg whites left over from another recipes, I make these. My husband adores them. They need no accompaniment to be enjoyed.

Ingredients
3 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
75g dark cooking chocolate, melted

1. Pre-heat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
2. Beat the eggs whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the vinegar and mix until thoroughly combined.
4. Drop heaped spoonfuls of mixture on the baking tray, ensuring you leave enough room in between each for spreading.
5. Dip a skewer in the melted chocolate and swirl it onto the top and sides of each meringue.
6. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Remove tray from oven and allow meringues to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 meringues.

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