Chocolate meringue biscuits
Prep time:(plus cooling time)
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
You need only 4 ingredients to make these cute chocolate meringue biscuits. They take a bit of effort to make but these light, tasty biscuits are well worth it
- 4 medium egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 280g sugar
- 140g dark chocolate (70–75% cocoa solids), melted and slightly cooled
- 2 baking sheets or swiss roll tins lined with baking paper
Storage: Keep the biscuits between sheets of baking paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. They last indefinitely, but will only be moist inside on the day they’re baked.
- Half-fill a saucepan on which your mixer bowl will fit without having more than 5cm inside the pan, with water. Bring the water to the boil over a low heat.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk by hand to break them up. Whisk in the salt and sugar.
- Set the bowl over the pan of water so only a small part of the base is submerged and whisk gently to keep the mixture moving so that it doesn’t set on the bottom; whisking too vigorously can tighten the mixture and prevent the sugar from melting. Continue whisking until the egg whites are hot (54˚C) and the sugar has dissolved. Lift the whisk and let a little of the mixture run over a fingertip to test the temperature and smoothness. While heating the mixture, occasionally scrape the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula to keep sugar from accumulating there.
- Place the bowl on the mixer and whisk with the whisk attachment on medium high speed until the meringue is very increased in volume and looks like marshmallow, about 3 minutes. Stop whisking when the side of the bowl feels just slightly warm.
- Use a large rubber spatula to fold the chocolate into the meringue. Be careful not to fold so much that the meringue liquefies from contact with the fat in the chocolate. If there are a few streaks of white remaining, ignore them.
- Half-fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1.25cm star tip (Ateco size 4) and pipe the meringue onto the tins in ‘S’ shapes: hold the bag almost perpendicular to the tin and inclined slightly towards you with the end of the tube close to the tin. Start to squeeze out an ‘S’ shape; when you come to the end, pull away parallel to the tin, not straight upward, to avoid leaving a point.
- After piping the biscuits, let them dry at room temperature for a couple of hours so they retain their shape better and they form the characteristic ‘foot’ at the bottom.
- About 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake the biscuits, set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 180˚C/gas mark 4.
- Bake the biscuits until they are matt looking but still a little moist within (press one with a fingertip), 8–10 minutes. Cool on the tins on racks
Recipe taken from Bake! by Nick Malgieri (Kyle Cathie, £20) with photography by Quentin Bacon