Saturday, July 31, 2010
Sweet Melissa Sundays: Chocolate Peppermint Meringues
This is my third time making meringues in the last 4 months and the third time making them in my lifetime. In fact my very first blog post was on meringues. Turns out these are easy to make and my husband LOVES them. Who knew Mr. I Don't Like Desserts found a sweet treat that he actually asks me to make. In fact he's stooped to begging a couple of times. Note to self. Bribe Hubby with meringues...
So as exciting as this meringue revelation is, Hubby wasn't excited to hear this week's Sweet Melissa Sundays pick was for a flavored meringue. He asked me why do they have to mess it up with chocolate and peppermint? He's all about the vanilla. We'll get to the results a little later.
I recently purchased my first real cake decorating tips since I took cake decorating classes in 4H back in 6th grade. In fact the three tips I bought were specifically with meringues in mind. I bought a large star tip for shells and stars, large round tip for big round meringues and a small/medium sized round tip to make these cool spirals. I wish I could take credit for the spiral idea...but I saw it just a couple of weeks ago Five Ingredient Fix on the Food Network. Keeghan Gerhard (the former host of Food Network Challenge) guest starred and did an amazing dessert bar with ganache and meringues as the base ingredients...how relevant for this week's SMS pick. The spiral shape seemed perfect for a sandwich meringue.
Melissa Murphy's recipe calls for chopping 1 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate and grinding it a food processor with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar into a fine powder. When I folded into the meringues they looked like cookies and cream meringues. I prefer a more solid chocolate look and would probably use cocoa powder next time.
Here's my perpetual problem with meringues...it seems to get that completely dry and airy crunch I have to bake them up to 2 hours MORE than the recipe calls for. I have even tried leaving them in the oven overnight turning the oven off. But they usually require a little more baking in the morning to get that list bit of chewy texture completely dried out. I live in Southern California and it's not overly humid here. So I'm not sure whats up with that. The ultimate result turns out just fine....but really, I don't have patience for up to 4 hours of baking.
Honestly I didn't have high expectations for these cookies. Between almost over cooking the egg mixture in the early stages, to the incessant baking time I just wasn't feeling it. But I got up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose and I made the ganache while the meringues finished baking. Like other SMS bakers, I was not able to find Peppermint oil (though I didn't look super hard). I used peppermint extract that was on sale at my local grocery store. I ended up using about a 1/2 teaspoon to get the flavor I was looking for. I used a 70% dark chocolate.
Soooo....these turned out really really good! Do you like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies? Then you would love these. They taste like a light cloudy thin mint. Yum. Though Hubby likes thin mints he couldn't get past the fact that these were flavored meringues. Oh well! More for me.
Thanks to Kelly of Sweetgrass Sensibilities for choosing this tasty recipe. Click here to see what other Sweet Melissa Sunday bakers did this week.