Dark Chocolate Swirl Meringues, a cloud of light, crumbly sweetness with a subtle swirl of dark chocolate. A melt in your mouth delicious experience.
I am very much like my nonno, grandpa, a meal is not complete if we don’t have something sweet. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a full dessert, sometimes a single cookie would suffice the sweet craving. Because the last taste in our mouth cannot be savory, the last thing our taste buds want to remember is the lingering essence of dolce (sweet). Together with a small cup of espresso, to seal our meal. My nonna, grandma, was the complete opposite. When asked if she wanted a piece of dessert, or a cookie, or coffee, she adamantly refused it, not wanting to lose the flavor of the meal.
Everybody knows that I have a sweet tooth, nothing to hide in that department. Living in North America did not change the way I see breakfast, for example, that can never be a savory experience. Of course Loreto is the opposite and he prefers his breakfast savory, which I get to taste, only to be happier with my choice. The rare times we go out for brunch, I need to have my “normal” breakfast at home first, then, when facing the different options available at brunch, both sweet and savory, I place a bit of both in my plate, but work my way through the food as I would eat a meal at lunch: starting with the savory and ending with the sweet. But be aware that having them share the space in my plate doesn’t make me jump for joy. When we go out for dinner, at somebody’s house or at a restaurant, I try not to overeat so there’s room for dessert, and even when I do overeat, very seldom can I not find room for my favorite part the of the meal. At home, I bake every other day in order to have cookies, cakes or breakfast items, ready for our consumption. We do have some store bought sweet items once in a while, but mostly we eat sweets that I make.
I very much like meringues, and that is uncommon, since I like sweets that are not overly sweet. They are a welcomed exception to the rule, so light and melt in your mouth. These particular ones, Dark chocolate swirl Meringues, were the best I made so far. The dark chocolate tones down the sweetness of the meringues and adds a textural element to the crumbly experience. Visually they were so pretty and gained few admirers.
If you make them, you’re going to love them. They are a great end to a meal, a light snack, even one at breakfast will suffice the sweet craving. And they’re not difficult to make at all. The most important part is to whip those egg whites to a stiff peak. I used my fairly new kitchen toy, the Kitchen Aid Mixer, which did a marvelous job. I opted for a finer granulated sugar, that I incorporated to the already stiff egg whites, one tablespoon at a time. And to flavor the meringues I added vanilla and lemon juice, which help remove that not so pleasant smell and taste of the egg.
I did not use a piping bag, just a spoon to scoop the meringues onto the baking sheet. The chocolate is melted in a bain marie, a water bath, but pay attention not to let any boiling water in the pot, it will ruin your melting chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted and cooled a bit, use a teaspoon to pour it onto the meringue and then with a skewer, swirl it into the meringue.
Forty minutes in the oven, at a rather low temperature, 250° F, and those beautiful Dark Chocolate Swirl Meringues are ready to cool and then eat. The distinct light crispy coating of the meringues, melts in your mouth to a nice smooth toffee texture; the dark chocolate subdues the sweetness of the meringues with its subtle bitterness, leaving you with a feeling of delight.
We had friends over for tea and coffee after dinner, and these Dark Chocolate Swirl Meringues were highly appreciated. They even left with a small care package in hand and smile on their faces.
Song of the day: Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten.
Adapted on: Chocolate and Salted Caramel Swirled Meringues, by Floating Kitchen.
- 5 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- Pre-heat your oven to 275° F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until small bubbles start to form, then increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Gradually incorporate the sugar, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high for about 5 minutes, or until the meringues are stiff and glossy.
- Scrap down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute more.
- Scoop the meringue out in rounded spoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1-2 inches between each mound. Do not flatten them or worry about their shape at this time.
- Melt the dark (or semisweet) chocolate chips in a water bath (bain-marie) until smooth and liquid. Let it cool out a bit.
- Place a small amount of melted chocolate on top of each meringue. Then use a toothpick to swirl the toppings into the meringue, shaping the meringue as you do this. Don’t flatten the meringues out too much.
- Transfer the swirled meringues to your pre-heated oven and reduce the temperature to 250° F. Bake for about 40 minutes.The outsides should be dry to the touch.
- Remove the meringues from the oven and allow them to cool completely on their baking sheets. Then gently peel them away from the parchment paper.
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