Determined not to be defeated after my recent meringue creation (see previous post) went horribly wrong (actually, not ‘horribly’ as it still tasted really good!), I decided to make some more meringues, this time with a wonderfully easy and delectable chocolate Cointreau sauce.
Best meringues ever!
The meringues are my mum’s recipe. They are by far the best meringues ever! She often has a soirée for friends and family to celebrate an occasion and her meringues are always eagerly anticipated.
Just as great, low sugar meringues!
Most recipes suggest double the ounces of sugar to the number of egg whites. In other words, 2 oz (50g) for each egg white, eg. 4 egg whites + 8 oz sugar. My mum’s recipe uses much less sugar and therefore you don’t get that horrible sugary coating on your teeth. Believe me, they taste much better than shop bought ones and those made with the formula above. With fresh cream and chocolate sauce, who needs über sweet meringues anyway?
Quickest, simplest chocolate sauce ever!
My chocolate sauce takes less than 2 minutes to make. Really, it is that simple and that quick. No messing about with pans of boiling water. The secret? A hairdryer!
My school friends and I used to melt our bars of Dairy Milk in this way. Soft, warm, melted chocolate – far more enjoyable than rock hard, tooth-breaking chocolate straight from the fridge.
5 egg whites
200g / 7 oz caster sugar
200g good quality chocolate
300ml double cream
30ml / 2 tbsp of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
Separate the eggs, ensuring you don’t get any yolk in the whites.
Ideally use an electric whisk. It’s much quicker. Mine is an attachment to my Kenwood Chef mixer so I wasn’t able to use it over the cooker. I therefore had to use a hand whisk.
Whisking by hand
Sometimes it’s quicker to use a hand whisk if your electric one is lurking right at the back of a cupboard. It also gives you better control. This is especially important when whipping cream (more about that later).
Will your arms ache? Yes. Be patient. Keep going. Every now and then give your arm a rest before your muscles seize! It will be worth it. Keeping swapping hands and just think of it as a good workout for your biceps and forearm muscles. Not only will it help that overall toned look on your arms but will also help with/ward off conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other wrist complaints.Whisk until the the mixture until it stands in stiff peaks.
Pipe swirls onto the baking paper. It was nigh on impossible to take a photo whilst piping so I had to enlist the help of my ten year old. Now, should he take a photo while I pipe or should I get him to pipe while I take the photo? We tried both ways and most of the photos were terrible.
The easiest, quickest chocolate sauce
When the meringues have finished baking, leave to cool completely on a baking rack. On half of the meringues spoon on the chocolate sauce. You will need some way of keeping them upside down otherwise the chocolate will dribble off. It should be quite viscous and hold its shape well. I put them in wide shallow soup bowls. Leave a little bit of chocolate sauce for drizzling at the end.
In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cream until it forms soft peaks. Although it is more laborious using a hand whisk than an electric one, it enables you to have far more control to achieve the correct thickness. It doesn’t take as long as whisking the egg whites. Stop as soon as it starts to thicken and leaves soft peaks. If you whisk too much then it can give a grainy, slightly separated appearance and if you really overwhip it, you’ll end up with butter. If you decide to use an electric whisk, turn it to the lowest setting.