These meringue mountains displayed in shop windows always look like glamorous clouds and I can stand quite happily for ages looking longingly at them.
I have tried to recreate these at home, I made chocolate swirl/marbled meringues, some I topped with toasted hazelnuts and meringues drizzled with melted chocolate.
Hotel Chocolat kindly sent me a bag of easy melt 70% Dark Chocolate Drops and because I had a yearning to make meringues, I couldn't think of a better way to use them. The chocolate melted easily, quickly and was extremely glossy. The baby buttons can be eaten just as they are or used for cooking, just as I did, but I have to admit I did eat more than a few whilst I was meringue making, just to pass the time away!
The meringues keep well in an airtight tin or box and as soon as you remove the lid the chocolate smells divine, so much so, I kept on taking the lid off just to smell the chocolate!
I made a Swiss meringue mixture in my food mixer, because this chocolate deserved only the best, but these meringues can easily and successfully be made by making an Italian meringue using the following recipe.
Makes: 4-6 (depending how large you make them)
You will need: 4 egg whites, 225g caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 120°C/Fan100°C/Gas ½ and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
2. Whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage. Whisk in half the sugar 1tbs at a time until the egg white mixture is stiff. Fold in the remaining sugar.
3. Dab a little meringue mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stick it to the baking sheets. Take a large spoon and scoop up some meringue mixture and using another spoon to remove the meringue place onto the paper and space well apart.
4. Bake for 1½-2 hours until the meringues are dry and lift easily from the paper. Leave to cool.
Chocolate Swirl Meringues
You will need: 100g dark chocolate
1. Melt the chocolate carefully in a basin set over a pan of simmering water.
2. With the handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the melted chocolate into the meringue mixture. Continue as above.
Serving suggestion: Delicious served with fresh raspberries and a puddle of double cream!