E. had some college friends in town this past week. They come down to DC on their annual trek from Boston during their spring break. E., being the great friend that he is, hosts, and we knock out a big meal. This year, as opposed to last, we had three kids all under the age of three, where last year there was only one child, and two very pregnant women. The resulting children are the epitome of cuteness, and that night our house was full of laughter.
The only small kink was that one of the babies was having some allergic reactions, so mama was on some dietary restrictions- no dairy, no wheat (I also found out after I had already made these meringues that eggs, along with sesame seeds weren’t allowed either). Thinking about what to make for dessert following dinner, I had a hard time coming up with something that fell into the allergy-free category. As I didn’t have any rice flour, I was limited in what I could bake, and the limitation of dairy took any pudding or custard-style dessert off the plate. That’s when it hit me- meringues.
Meringues are made from beaten egg whites, and are flavored to your liking. Here, I decided that chocolate would make the most sense. For one, who doesn’t like a good chocolate dessert, and second, I had cocoa powder on hand.
Meringues take little time to prepare, but since they are piped out, tend to have a much more refined look to them.
As far as decorating goes, I dipped mine in melted chocolate and then took about half of those, and pressed them into some crushed walnuts. I used a semi sweet chocolate, but I think that milk, or white chocolate would work as well. For the extra topping, any of your favorite nut would work well, or maybe some mini m&ms, or some large sprinkles, or another of your desired edible decoration. Personalize them to your liking and they will sure be a hit with your guests.
3 eggs, separated and yolks held for another use
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 pinches of cream of tartar
pinch of salt
8 ounces of semi- sweet chocolate
4 ounces of crushed walnuts
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in to peaks. Slowly add in 2 tablespoons of sugar, and continue to beat until the whites become glossy.
In a separate bowl, sift the sugar and cocoa powder together.
Fold the cocoa mixture into the whites being careful not to deflate the whites.
Pump out the meringue mixture onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. The meringues are ready when they easily peel away from the parchment paper.
Once the meringues are cooled you can dip them in the melted chocolate (which can be done over a double boiler), and right into the crushed walnuts.