Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Chocolate Kisses / Baisers au Chocolat
It was in my early teen that I decided I didn’t like meringue. I don’t recall the day it happened, or why it did happen. It was just one of those days. Like one of those days where I decided to wear my mother’s 70’s jumper dresses to school, the day I asked my cousin to shave off her eye browse just to see how she would look like (which she did), or the day I truly believed that my sister’s and my bedroom was under the government security surveillance, or even worse under our parents surveillance.
But if you would have asked me at that time why I dislike meringue so much, I would have given you the exact and same answer I gave to my sister two days ago. I don’t like meringue because it has a though and dry shell, a molar-sticky interior, an artificial looking coloring, it doesn’t melt in your mouth as it’s supposed to do and it’s sweet. Too sweet!
The reason why I share this controversial relation with meringue is because of the funny looking meringue I encountered browsing the candy section in supermarkets. The commercial meringues remind me of the syrup my mother used to give us when we had a stomachache. It was like Pepto-Bismol but with two times the tongue coating texture for two times the: “Ewwww! Ewwww! That’s gross”.
I had this image of meringue for over 15 years now and no one has ever been able to change it.
No one but a man, his book and five leftover egg whites in my fridge.
Jacques Pépin’s “complete techniques” is a real treasure to have in the kitchen. It has more than 1000 cooking methods and recipes, all demonstrated in step-by-step recipes. It has some precious tips and tricks from the master him self, and when a man gives you a basic meringue recipe and start raving about how delicate and tender it is, and how with one basic recipe you can make Vacherin, Dacquoise, Ladyfingers and Oeufs a la neige, you’d better roll up your sleeves, swallow your nose-wrinkling pride and start making some meringue and enjoying it.
Oh! And how I did enjoy it. It doesn’t matter what I said before about molar-sticky whatever meringue because yesterday I’ve fallen head over for my angel kisses meringues. And as if it wasn’t enough I added some bittersweet chocolate ganache filling to cut down on the sweetness a bit and because any reason is a good reason to smear some chocolate.
When you bite into the meringue kiss you have a slightly crunchy shell with fluffy spots and then it starts to melt on your tongue leaving the chocolate behind as the finishing touch.
I have about one hundred and fifty five meringue kisses in my cookie jar right now. And being the cuddling person that I am, I can never have enough kisses in a day.
Meringue and chocolate Kisses
Recipe: adapted from here
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- A few drops of lemon juice, or a small dash of salt
- Chocolate ganache
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the whites, adding a few drops of lemon juice or a small dash of salt before you start t whip. Whip on medium to high speed. When the whites are holding a nice shape, gradually add ½ cup of sugar and keep beating for 1 minute. The mixture should be stiff and shiny. Fold in the remaining sugar using a spatula. Folding in a part of the sugar at the end makes for tender meringue.
Coat a cookie sheet with butter and flour, and remove the excess flour. Fill up a pastry bag and pipe out plain or fluted meringues kisses. Lift the tip of the bag in quick, swift motion to avoid a long tail.
Bake them in preaheated 190F oven for 1¾ hours, or until they are dried. You can prepare the meringue in the evening, preheat your oven to 375F, put your meringues in the oven and turn it off. Leave them in there all night to dry out.
Stored dry (without the filling) in a covered container, meringues will keep for months.
Spread some of the chocolate ganache on some meringue kisses, and seal with the remaining plain kisses to from a macaroon. Let the chocolate set a bit and serve.
Baisers de Meringues au Chocolat
In francais please: Adaptée d’ici
- 3 blancs d’oeufs, temperature ambiante
- 175ml de sucre trés fin
- Quelques gouttes de sucre ou une petite pincée de sel
- Ganache de chocolat
Dans un mixer Kitchen-Aid munis d’un fouet, battre les blancs, en ajoutant les gouttes de citron ou le sel avant de battre. Battre à une vitesse moyenne à haute. Quand les blancs commencent à prendre du volume et une bonne consistence, ajouter la moitié du sucre petit à petit. Continuer à battre pendant 1 minute. Les blancs doivent etre volumineux et brilliants. Incorporer délicatement à l’aide d’une spatule le sucre restant. Ce process est coseillé pour avoir des meringues tendres.
Beurrer et fariner une ou deux plaques de cuisson et enlever l’excès de farine. A l’aide d’une poche à douille, faites des petits tas d’1 centimetre de diametre. Retirer la poche à douille rapidement pour qu’un fil de meringue ne se développe.
Cuire dans un four préchauffé a 90C pendant 1¾ heures, ou jusqu’a ce que les meringues soient seches. Autre alternative serait de préparer les meringues le soir, préchauffer votre four à 180C, mettre les plaques de meringues au four et etteindre ce dernier. Laisser sécher pendant toute une nuit.
Les meringues peuvent se conserver, sans leur ganache, dans une boite hérmétique pendant des mois.
Répartisser un peu du ganache sur une coque de meringue et coller la deuxième coque.