... i've been making a lot of mayonnaise recently and as anyone who's made mayonnaise knows, it means I now have a lot of egg whites... it's doubtful i'll ever get round to making macaroons but to me egg whites has always meant one thing... meringues...
... Ottolenghi are famous for their giant meringues which look spectacular displayed in all their glory on their stands in the windows of the restaurants and shops... although I have often wondered what you're supposed to do with such large meringues... one can't possibly eat a whole one... can one...?
... I have actually made these before, a long time ago and they came out phenomenally well but I remember finishing up with dozens of giant fluffy meringues and nothing to do with them, although they do freeze very well and make a great base for an Eton Mess or two... or four...
... this time round I've used some of the amazing little pod coffee extract I was sent a while back that I used in my coffee and banana triple layer cake. It is so much easier and much better tasting than using nasty instant coffee granules, which I don't have in the house anyway, plus you can control the flavour of the finished meringue brilliantly... i've also reduced the original recipe by two thirds based on the fact that I only had 3 egg whites which weighed in at 100g but the maths is easy...
coffee and chocolate meringues
I am of course entering these into one of my favourite monthly bloggers challenges, we should cocoa, dreamt up by the wonder-team that is Chele from the Chocolate Teapot and Choclette from the Chocolate Log Blog... but hosted this month with such panache by Lucy The KitchenMaid... and the theme is coffee... which is quite funny as Choclette cannot stand the stuff... so honey, these are for you!
100g egg whites (should be three eggs)
200g caster sugar (easy maths - whatever your egg whites weigh, double the sugar
a few drops of Little Pod coffee extract (you could use instant coffee)
100g good quality dark chocolate (i'm using the wonderful Chocolate Tree Madagascar 64% cacao chocolate)
the recipe calls for a proper mixer with a balloon whist but I used my trusty Kenwood hand-held double electric whisk and it worked out fine... if not a little boring...
- pre-heat the oven to 200C
- spread the sugar out evenly onto a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes or until the sugar just begins to bubble at the edges
- just before the sugar comes out of the oven whisk the egg whites to a frothy foam, then carefully and slowly add the sugar whilst whisking as full speed
- turn the oven down to 110C
- once all the sugar is in add the coffee, you want these quite strong so don't be shy
- continue to whisk on high for 10 minutes or until the mixture has cooled
- spoon large dollops onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 2 hours - you'll know they're done because if you tap them they will sound crispy
- take them out of the oven and allow them to cool
- melt the chocolate gently in the microwave and them drizzle the meringues with chocolate lines
an eton mess with the crumbled meringue and some half-fat creme fraiche
I'm also entering these beauties into Makey-Cakey's Birthday Mystery Ingredient Swap Challenge... it's a one-off (at present) but essentially she's randomly paired up a bunch of cooks who have to send each other a secret ingredient... i've been paired with the lovely Claire who doesn't have a blog but is on twitter @ClaireHitchen... we both sent each other something local... I sent her some Lincolnshire Honey and in return I received two bars of Edinburgh's incredible Chocolate Tree chocolate, one of which i'm using here... happy birthday Ruth!
eat and of course, enjoy!