These meringues were initially a happy accident. I don’t remember if we had leftover egg whites or what, but my friend Jill and I decided to make meringues one night a couple years ago. A google search led to a Gourmet recipe for chocolate-dipped vanilla, chocolate, and espresso ones. We were sold!
The recipe was kind of tedious since it required making separate batches for each, but we went with it. Well, that is until we hit a road bump in the first (vanilla) batch. The mixer whisk wasn’t able to reach the one egg white due to the groove in the bowl. Nice one, KitchenAid! Obviously we had to think of something, and as lovers of mocha ice cream, we decided to combine ALL THE BATCHES. Not only did this solve the egg white issue, it sure made the recipe a whole lot simpler.
I also think it probably resulted in tastier meringues. We liked them so much that I felt the need to comment on the recipe saying what we did. (I had forgotten about that and saw it the other day!) It’s crazy that it’s taken this long for me to make them again, but extra egg whites from making pastry cream provided the perfect excuse.
Not intentionally made with the holidays in mind (trust me…I don’t plan that far ahead), but these would be great for that! Your gluten-free friends will love you, as will the coffee addicts. And they’re just so pretty!
Mocha Meringue Stars
adapted (like whoa) from Gourmet
Make sure that you use instant espresso powder instead of ground espresso. I used one of those Starbucks VIA packs which was just the right amount. (ugh, I know, but I’ve had a jar of espresso powder go bad since I didn’t use it often enough.) Also, if you have a food processor, you can make your own superfine/caster sugar! I made way more than needed to have on hand for future uses.
Also, Gourmet says this makes “about 7 dozen” cookies. It made a lot, but that number seems awfully generous…
3 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3/4 cup superfine/caster sugar, divided (6 + 6 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 1/2 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 200°F with racks in upper, middle, and lower thirds of oven (or use 2 racks and bake in batches). Line 2 or 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sifted cocoa and 6 tablespoons of the sugar. With a mixer at medium-high speed, beat the egg whites with the vanilla, salt, cream of tartar, and espresso powder until soft peaks form. A little at a time, add in the cocoa/sugar mixture while still beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Gently fold in the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar until thoroughly incorporated. At this point, I beat the meringues again as they had lost stiffness after the folding.
Pipe meringues: To secure sheets, dab some meringue under corners of parchment on all baking sheets. Transfer some of the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch star tip, then pipe 1x1inch stars about 1/2 inch apart. Continue refilling the bag as needed.
Bake meringues: Switching the upper and lower sheets halfway through baking, bake until dry, crisp, and firm, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Meringues are done when they release from parchment.) Note: Because my oven runs hot, I checked mine early and they were done in 1 hour.
Turn off oven and cool meringues in oven with door propped open about 1/2 inch (using handle of a wooden spoon, if needed) for 1 hour.
Dip meringues in chocolate: Find a plate or tray small enough to fit in your freezer and line with either parchment or wax paper.
Melt together the chocolate and coconut oil. Dip the bottom of each meringue into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. (While holding the meringue, I tapped my index finger against the bowl.) Set dipped meringues on lined dish, arranging as close together as possible. When dish is full, freeze meringues just until chocolate is set, about 3 minutes. Remove meringues from freezer.
Storing: In an airtight container, layer meringues between sheets of parchment or wax paper. They will keep at room temperature (or in the fridge) for a week. Gourmet says you can freeze them in a tightly wrapped container for 1 month. When ready to eat, keep container wrapped until it reaches room temperature.