There was a time when I thought only a wizard, or my dad, could whip eggs into that elusive, glossy, tall and fluffy, stark bright meringue white.
Meringue aren’t reserved for wizards (or baking dads). We can have our own… as minty and light as air as we’d like them.
I would still say that the best meringue comes atop my dad’s Lemon Meringue Pie which, as I type this, I realize I’ve never attempted to make on my own. That needs to be remedied immediately. What I remember about those pies was the pillowy white mound atop the a creamy yellow. The meringue would weep just slightly on the high counter above the kitchen sink, facing the kitchen window, right beside my goldfish in her modest bowl. I just put all those memory pieces together. I can’t believe they’re still in there.
These meringues are mint infused and chocolate chunked. Whipped to light, tinted the most pale green, and dried in a low oven to crisp. Dry and crisp on the outside, and almost nougaty towards the center. Don’t let the wizardry get you flustered. Egg whites want to meringue, and I want these for you.
Two ways to coax this stiff, opaque white from loose egg whites: add an acid (in this case cream of tartar), and gradually add the sugar. Both steps will allow the whites to gradually take voluminous shape.
I added a splash of peppermint extract and a mean handful of coarsely chopped dark chocolate.
And a hint of green too. Sometimes minty things just taste better when pale green. See: drug store scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Dolloped and swirled.
You could use a piping bag if you’d like little kiss shapes, if you’d like them perfectly uniform, if you want to do more dishes.
Into the oven to slowly bake to a dry crisp. It’s much more appetizing than it sounds.
They start whole, but crumble when eaten. It’s a pleasing crumble if you don’t bearing the evidence down the front of your shirt. I should also say that if you were to whip up a batch of chocolate whipped cream and crumble one of these meringues over a light-whip situation… that’s would be a very fine time.
Here’s how. Wizard tricks:
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
- green food coloring
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Clean and dry the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add egg whites and beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add pinch of salt and cream of tartar. Increase speed to medium high and beat to soft peaks. The egg whites will be white and foamy, with large but tight bubbles.
- Gradually add the granulated sugar, increasing the mixer speed to high. Beat for about 3 minutes on high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Stir in the peppermint extract and chocolate chunks.
- Egg whites will be spoonable, but keep their shape when dolloped onto a baking sheet.
- On prepared baking sheet, dollop out egg white mixture into two heaping tablespoonfuls. Space about 1-inch apart, although the meringues won’t spread as they bake. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 60 to 70 minutes. Meringues will brown sightly on the top and feel hollow to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Remove from the parchment and serve with coffee or mint tea.
- Meringues will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days.