Monday, February 14, 2011

Espresso chip meringues

My past attempts at making meringues have fallen flat. So I was amazed, and thrilled when I came home from work one Friday and whipped up a batch of these meringues in no time at all.

Maybe it's because this time I properly let the egg whites reach room temperature. Maybe the air was dry enough in my kitchen that day. Maybe I didn't overwhip the meringue. Maybe buying superfine sugar rather than trying to make my own by grinding granulated sugar made the difference.

Who knows. The point is that these whipped up in no time, and the peaks stayed stiff. Halle-whipping-lujah.

Thank you Giada. Once again, your Cordon Bleu background comes shining through. If you want to try her recipe, you can find it here. A lot of over-used cliches came to mind as I began writing this: Cloud, puff, heaven, delight,. You get the picture. All you really need to know is that when you take a bite of this meringue, it will crumble in your mouth and melt in seconds, leaving behind just the memory of its espresso-flavoured crunch and the chocolate chips that remain on your tongue. The best part of it is that it's unlike any other meringue, the espresso powder turns the sweetness down a notch, and makes this a bit more adult.

My only complaint is that these meringues cracked, as you can tell in the photo, which is painfully obvious because I am using a brand-spanking new DSLR (that I am learning on as I go along, so any tips appreciated). Maybe next time I will leave the oven door ajar as they cool. And now that I know this recipe works, I'll use a piping tip to get them to look really professional.

Substitutions:
I used regular-sized chocolate chips rather than the mini ones, and I wish I had held out and used the mini ones instead. The large ones feels slightly too large for this delicate treat.

Would I make this again?
Gladly. They keep well, for days in an airtight container, and they are a welcome alternative to the store-bought biscuits I pull out when someone stops by for an espresso.

Grade: Five stars out of five. A foolproof recipe for an elegant confection. You'll feel like a proper pastry chef.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Mary, my grandmother used to make these for me all the time (minus the espresso powder). She put the mini chocolate chips in them also. She used to dye them pink and green and yellow and call them "kisses." :o) I've never made them myself as I don't seem to have much luck with meringue but yours look just like hers. Great job!