We're pleased to share another great entry in the Godiva Chocolate Challenge competition. Karen's chocolate swirl meringues make a great dessert as they can be made ahead of time and are easy to serve with assorted fillings and toppings.
Chocolate! The object of much desire and probably one of the most seductive of ingredients. It features throughout the year for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter and a myriad of other “special occasions”. You will see chocolate in cakes, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, muffins, brownies, tray-bakes and in some savoury recipes – it’s the obsession of many a person, as well as being quite addictive as most “chocoholics” will know!
I like a chocolate truffle or three, but I am not a chocoholic by any means - although I have been known to eat half a box of chocolates in one sitting at Easter or Christmas time! But, my favourite way to eat chocolate is in cakes, bakes and desserts. It’s not that I don’t like a “box” of chocolates; it’s just that I enjoy the process of baking and chocolate is such a seductive and malleable ingredient to work with.
So, when I decided to create a new “dinner party dessert” recently, it was chocolate that was chosen as the main ingredient, and eggs, as my hens are in full egg laying mode right now. I wanted a spectacular recipe that would receive the required “ooohs and ahhhs” at the dinner table, and that was easy to assemble and serve at the last minute. I looked at mousses and parfaits, as well as truffle cakes and fondants, but it was meringues that I decided to make in the end, and not just any meringues, but CHOCOLATE meringues.
Meringues make a great dessert as they can be made ahead of time and are easy to serve with assorted fillings and toppings; these new “chocolate swirl” meringues of mine have an added swirl of molten chocolate that is added just before baking. Once cool, they are “sandwiched” together with white chocolate cream and mixed berries before being dressed with a final flourish of hot chocolate drizzle……sublime and elegant, they make the perfect dinner party dessert.
My meringues are dry on the outside and beautifully softy and chewy on the inside, and they make the perfect vehicle for an extra helping of chocolate, cream and fruit…..or just eat them naked (the meringue, not you!) for an indulgent tea time treat. Once made, the meringues will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight tin in a dry and cool place, and you’ll have a ready store of instant desserts to hand, as all that is needed is to “dress” them before serving. One final tip, always try to use older eggs, as older egg whites work better in meringues.
(Makes 12 meringues to serve 6 people as a dessert)
Chocolate Swirl Meringues:
Chocolate Swirl Meringues with White Chocolate Cream, Mixed Berries & a Hot Chocolate Drizzle
4 large free-range egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g dark chocolate, melted with a tablespoon of single cream
25g grated dark chocolate
White Chocolate Cream:
50g white chocolate, grated or use chocolate chips
100mls extra thick double cream
150g mixed frozen berries mixed with 25g caster sugar
Hot Chocolate Drizzle:
100g dark chocolate melted with a tablespoon of single cream
1. Pre-heat oven to 130C/275F/Gas 1 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks, and then gradually add the sugar, until all the sugar has been used and the meringue mixture is shiny and forms stiff peaks.
3. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared trays, and then add a teaspoon of the melted chocolate and swirl through the top of the meringues, before sprinkling the grated chocolate over the top.
4. Bake immediately for 40 minutes before turning the oven off and leaving to dry out for up to 1 hour.
5. Cool before serving or storing.
6. Meanwhile, make the white chocolate cream; melt the chocolate over a gentle heat, allow to cool slightly and then whisk it into the cream. Set to one side.
7. Assembling the dessert: take two meringues and sandwich together with some of the white chocolate cream. Add some mixed berries and then top with hot chocolate drizzle. You can dust the desserts with icing sugar and/or grated chocolate. Serve with extra cream if desired.