chocolate meringues with rhubarb and raspberry compote

Whenever a recipe calls for egg yolks, I always freeze the whites. If I need to make a pavlova or meringues, the frozen whites are easy to defrost and it saves the problem of what to do with all those leftover yolks.

Whilst rummaging through the freezer a few weeks back I found a container of egg whites and feeling the need for something sweet, I set about turning the whites into some chocolate meringues. Now those of you who've followed my blog for a while know that chocolate meringue made with cocoa doesn't always work out. The cocoa tends to deflate the egg whites and the meringue loses its shape.

I found this recipe for chocolate meringues in ‘Falafel for Breakfast’ by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley and I was keen to try the recipe because it used chocolate rather than cocoa. The melted chocolate didn't deflate the meringue and my new oven cooked the meringues perfectly.

My new oven and I are still building a relationship. After much trial and terror I've worked out that the bottom of the oven is really hot and each rack gets progressively cooler towards the top of the oven. To bake bread, pizza or to make a roast I use the bottom rack. To bake cakes and biscuits or to make a casserole I use the middle rack but until now I've not tackled meringue so I wasn't sure where to cook them. I decided to bake the meringues on the top shelf; cooked them for just over an hour and they were done perfectly. Too easy!

Once they were cold, I broke one of the meringues in half, tasted it and found it was way too sweet for my taste. As I'd made six I needed to find a way of making the meringues palatable. I folded some Greek yoghurt through double cream I had in the fridge, topped the meringue with a spoon of the oven baked rhubarb and raspberry compote I'd made earlier and a new dessert was born. The combination of the sweet chocolatey meringue, slightly sour cream and the tangy rhubarb compote was delicious.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 12 large meringues. I made a half batch which yielded six meringues.

Chocolate Meringues (makes 12 large meringues)
120g (4 ½ oz) dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), chopped
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar

To serve
125 g double cream
¼ cup Greek yoghurt
Berries or oven roasted rhubarb

Preheat oven to 140°C/275°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water (don't allow bowl to touch water) or melt the chocolate in the microwave; stir until just melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; gradually add caster sugar, beating after each addition until dissolve until the mixture forms a thick and glossy meringue. Fold in the cornflour and vinegar then swirl in the melted chocolate. Spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking tray for each meringue leaving room for the meringues to expand during cooking.

Bake meringues for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until the meringues are firm and dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven with door ajar.

To serve, combine the double cream with the Greek yoghurt. Dollop the cream over the meringues and serve with fresh berries or some tart rhubarb compote.

See you all again next week with my last baking post before I head overseas.


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