I think I chose the wrong day to make meringue cos I was an absolute klutz yesterday! Having said that, I'm glad that my third attempt at meringues turned out fine. My 1st attempt burned, my 2nd bled. They are such fragile little things that 2 of them cracked while I was handling them for the photos (Klutz Attack I), so I had to be extremely gentle as I had only 4 meringues to 'play' with.
Klutz Attack II - After I layered my whipped cream on to the meringues and placed the raspberries on the top, i knocked my cup of caramel on the floor! I was totally bummed! Firstly cos I just cleaned the floor the day before, and secondly because I had to mop up the floor quickly, which prevented me from taking photos immediately. (These meringues have slightly chewy centres, they collapse under the weight of the cream and raspberries after a few minutes.. if you are making them, serve them immediately after placing the toppings!) So you can imagine how frantic I was.
Anyway, I'm thrilled that my meringues were successful. However, I prefer a crisper meringue, so for my next try, I shall leave them in the oven a while more. I've also found rather good instructions from this website on making meringues.. happy reading!
Chocolate Meringues with Raspberries and Caramel Sauce
(adapted from Delicious Magazine)
makes 6 meringues
4 eggwhites, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups caster sugar (I reduced it to 1-1/4 cups but I still found it too sweet. Suggest reducing it to 1 cup)
a pinch of salt
1 tbs cocoa, sifted
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp corn flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 ml thickened cream
2 tbs icing sugar, plus extra to dust (I didn't mix the icing sugar into the cream as I thought the whole dessert would be too sweet)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(I made only half of the quantities stated below and it was more than enough for drizzling over 6 meringues)
1 firmly packed cup brown sugar
110g unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure (thin) cream
- Preheat oven to 150*C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Whisk eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add caster sugar, 1 tbs at a time, whisking until thick and glossy.
- Fold in cocoa, vinegar, cornflour and 1 tsp vanilla until well combined.
- Dollop 6 rounds of the mixture onto the line tray. Use the back of a spoon, make a slight indent in the top of each one.
- Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 120*C. Bake for 45 minutes then turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to cool completely. (This meringue as a soft centre, if you want a crisper meringue, suggest baking for 1 hr. Cooling should take about 3-4 hrs. I took mine out after 2 hrs and they were still slightly warm)
- Meanwhile whisk thickened cream and sifted icing sugar with 1/2 tsp vanilla. Cover and chill until ready to use.
- Place brown sugar, butter, pure (thin) cream and 1 tsp vanilla in a pan over low heat. Stir until butter has melted, then simmer for 2 minutes or until a golden caramel. Remove from heat then set aside to thicken and cool.
- To serve, top each meringue with whipped cream and raspberries. Drizzle with caramel and dust with icing sugar.