Last week, I concluded my series on how to make the different kinds of meringue with a post dedicated to French meringue. Which means that my days of playing with egg whites and sugar, coming up with the perfect recipe for a fluffy meringue pie topping (for Mini S’mores Tarts) and making cutesy French macarons (with a delicious whipped salted caramel filling!) are officially over. Well, for now at least. Which means… more time to spent on my thesis! Yay! Oh wait… boo!
I’m telling you: this thesis is taking over my life. Not that I spent every waking minute on writing it, but because whenever I’m not working on it, I’m thinking about it. Or, um, thinking about how I should be writing part of it that exact instant. Like: now! See? It’s happening again. I feel guilty whenever I’m not writing, which means that my thesis is always in the back of my head, which means that I can’t really chill out and put my feet up, because every time I do put my feet up I feel guilty. And that guilt is exactly why I want to finish the damn thing now. Right now! Like now, now, now!
Seriously, I feel haunted by my thesis!
FYI, it’s due on the 30th of November. Please bear with me. I may or may not completely lose it before then…
Luckily, baking keeps me grounded. As does blogging, so thanks for reading! It’s kind of therapeutic talking to you guys. Plus, it gives me a very welcome break from thinking about cultural memory, history, literature and that humongous pile of unread books on our dinner table (yes, my thesis is also taking over our dinner table).
So let’s get to business!
Guess what happened to that little bowl of French meringue I made last week?
I made the most perfect, gorgeous, rustic-looking, delicious Chocolate Swirl Meringues with it! They’re the best! Why? Well, um, because they’re perfect, gorgeous, rustic-looking and delicious, but didn’t I just say that? Seriously, though, these babies are everything a home-baker could wish for:
- you’ll only need five ingredients
- they’re super easy and fast
- they’re ridiculously good
- they’re supposed to look rustic, aka: their beauty lies in their ugliness.
Yes, in their ugliness! That’s right: no piping required. No rummaging around in the pantry for a lost piping bag or trying to find a missing open star tip with its mind set on not being found. Oh no… If you can plop big ol’ spoonfuls of cocoa swirled meringue on a lined baking sheet you’re golden!
You gotta love a recipe like this!
All you need is some gorgeous French meringue, a little vanilla, a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and a pinch of cinnamon. That’s it! Oh wait, if you have it, add a few drops of molasses to the French meringue too! It is delicious and gives the finished meringues a slight caramel flavor! Please do yourself a favor and try it. It’s great!
As I explained in my last post, I actually use sugar that has been mixed with a drop or two of molasses in all my baking. Because up until about a week ago, I never knew it was in there. I had noticed a more complex flavor in my baked goods, but I never knew it was the sugar until I decided to look up why my sugar wasn’t white. That’s when I found out!
So yeah, I buy my sugar like that, but you can make it yourself at home. Just add a few drops of molasses to some sugar and blitz in a food processor until evenly mixed. Use it in everything!
But back to the meringues. Once you’ve made yourself a glossy French meringue, use a sieve (or a tea egg?) to sift a mixture of cocoa powder and cinnamon over the meringue. Don’t bother folding it in, just scoop out big spoonfuls of meringue and plop them on a lined baking sheet.
Like I said: rustic…
Easy, right? That’s exactly how I like my recipes!
Easy and delicious! Which is what these are. And crispy too! If you like your meringues soft on the inside, these are not for you. These babies are crispy on the outside and on the inside. Like: melt-in-your-mouth-kind-of-crispy. This means that they take some time in the oven, up to four hours depending on the humidity, but they’re definitely worth the wait! They’re actually the Rocking Rebel’s new favorite treat!
Enjoy guys! Let me know what you think!
- 180g (or ¾ cup + 7 teaspoons) granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites (about 100ml, or ⅓ cup + 4 teaspoons)
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Start by preheating the oven to 200°C/390°F (standard oven setting) and lining a deep baking sheet with baking parchment. If necessary, place the sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until fine.
- Pour the sugar onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to melt. Heating the sugar helps to dissolve the sugar into the egg whites.
- While the sugar is in the oven, add the egg whites to a medium-sized bowl. Make sure both the bowl and the mixer's whisk attachments are completely free of any grease.
- Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
- By now, the sugar should be ready. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 100°C/212°F (standard oven setting).
- Add the hot sugar one big spoonful at a time, mixing continuously. Once all the sugar has been added, keep mixing until the meringue holds stiff peaks and you no longer feel sugar crystals when you rub a bit of meringue between your fingers (this should take about 5-8 minutes).
- Add the vanilla and mix again briefly to make sure the meringue still holds stiff peaks.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and cinnamon. Using a sieve, cover the surface of the meringue with a thin layer of the cocoa and cinnamon mixture. You probably won't need to use all of the mixture.
- Line a flat baking sheet with parchment and, using to tablespoons, spoon the mixture onto the lined baking sheet in 9 equal-size meringues. Try not to stir the cocoa and cinnamon mixture into the meringue too much.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 2½ to 4 hours, depending on the humidity. The resulting meringues should be light, crisp and you should be able to easily remove them from the baking parchment. When tapped, they should sound hollow.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- The meringues will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (again: depending on the humidity).