The Awesome Fluke: Crisp Chocolate Meringues

These surprising yummies were actually made on the same day of the DB challenge; I was staring into my bowl of left over Italian Meringue after completing the baked alaska challenge, seriously contemplating whether I should throw it out or turn it into something else. I kept telling myself that it’s just eggwhites and sugar and was recounting the first time I baked meringues in Malaysia when I was 14; it was a disaster of epic proportions; the meringues were way too sweet (the kind that makes your throat hurt) and sticky due to the humidity. No one ate them and worst of all my mom wanted to give ’em to our dog Ringo! Oh the horror! That was enough to quell my desire to attempt these celestial looking treats again; well at least not for another 13 years or so. Needless to say, I got an earful from her for trying out a full recipe which yielded a MOUNTAIN of bin-worthy confections. 

This time however, I’m glad I took the ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ route even though I made them with half-hearted enthusiasm because as previously mentioned in my last post, I ain’t a meringue fan. Rather than keep the meringue plain white with a hint of rose essence added in earlier for the baked alaska, I sifted in quite a generous heap of dutch cocoa powder and a tablespoon of freeze dried raspberry powder, gave the mix a quick folding, whacked it into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and simply piped the mix onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. My oven was already pre-heated to 150OC, then reduced to 100OC when the meringues went in to bake for about 1.5 hours. They were still soft when I turned off the oven so without really giving them much thought, I walked away and went on with my other stuff. Yup..I forgot about the meringues cooling off in the oven until the next morning!

I was about to put back all the baking trays and racks into the oven when ‘Oh lookie here! what’s this?’; the forgotten meringues have firmed and crisped up’. With the cautiousness of a meringue skeptic, I took a bite and that skeptic hat went crumbling down as that crunch into the featherlight morsel gave way to a  melt in the mouth sensation; very much like eating a honey-comb. Stickiness was minimal and even though it was still sweet, it wasn’t the sickly type of sweet; the bitterness of the dutch cocoa powder and the tartness of the freeze-dried raspberry powder must have cut through that predominant sugary taste and that hint of rose added a unique touch to the overall flavour. I was greatly surprised!

That night, J bought some strawberries and they were incredibly sour! So I chopped up some and incorporated it into some melted bittersweet chocolate (70%) with cream and used that to sandwich two crispy meringues. The sandwich look was great but was way too big to eat so I preferred it without that second meringue on the top. Bittersweet chocolate and sour strawberries took out even more of the sweetness from the meringue and made it extremely good to eat. YUM! Hmmm…with textures and flavours like these, I might be on my way to becoming a meringue convert..we shall see…. 😉

dark bittersweet chocolate mess with chopped sour strawberries

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