Chocolate swirl meringue kisses with caramel ganache
Prep 40min (+1hr cooling and 10min standing time)Bake 1hrMakes 40
These mouthfuls of chocolate sweetness are simply too cute for words! The meringue mixture is made using the Swiss meringue method of heating the egg whites and sugar together over a bain marie until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot before whisking. Don’t be tempted to cut the whisking time with this method as the meringue structure won’t be fully formed until it is cooled completely and you will end up with little pools of shapeless meringue on your tray once piped instead of petite ‘kisses’.
Chocolate swirl meringues
4 egg whites
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
1½ tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
100g dark (70% cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
2 tablespoon water
100ml pure (pouring/thin) cream
20g salted butter, cubed
- Preheat oven to 110°C (non fan-forced). Line a large oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric stand mixer and place over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl fits snugly in the saucepan and the base doesn’t touch the water). Stir with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved completely and the mixture reaches 55°C on a sugar thermometer.
- Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed for 10 minutes or until very thick and glossy and the mixture has cooled completely to room temperature. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Transfer the meringue mixture to a large wide bowl. Sift the cocoa powder over the top of the meringue mixture and use a spatula to fold the mixture 2-3 times to roughly swirl the cocoa powder through.
- Carefully spoon the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a plain 11mm nozzle. Holding the piping tip about 1cm from the lined tray, pipe small ‘kisses’ about 3cm in diameter and 2cm apart on the tray.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the meringue is crisp and hard to touch, but not coloured. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar and cool the meringues in the oven.
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and use a wooden spoon to stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the mixture turns a deep caramel. Remove immediately from the heat and carefully add the cream and butter. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and the caramel is smooth. Pour the warm caramel over the chocolate and set aside for 1 minute. Stir with a metal spoon until smooth. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until cooled and thickened to a spreadable consistency. (Makes about 200ml.)
- Spread the base of a cooled meringue with a little of the ganache and then sandwich with another meringue. Repeat with the remaining meringues and ganache. Set aside for at least 10 minutes for the ganache to firm slightly before serving.
- The unsandwiched meringues will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days. Once sandwiched with the ganache they are best eaten the same day, but keep them in an airtight container until serving time.
Photography by Alan Benson.