meringue kisses with chocolate filling
Updated: Tue, 2 March, 2021
Chocolate filled meringue kisses must be most people's favourite dessert. I know they are mine.
I remember the meringue sandwiches from my childhood. Two quite enormous, bulbous meringue cookies, preternaturally smooth and shiny, glued together with whitish or brownish filling.
The colour was presumably different to signify either vanilla or chocolate cream filling but it wasn’t that important as either tasted pretty much the same: of margarine, mainly.
The meringues themselves were hard. I would bite into them cautiously, press my teeth in and nothing happened. I'd press harder and the meringue would explode in tough shards of solid sugar, injuring innocent bystanders. And my teeth hurt for a good half an hour afterwards.
I was a greedy child so I was tempted time and time again with the smoothness and the shine, having forgotten that it wasn’t actually a very nice cookie. Perhaps hoping they’d made them better this time round.
They do make them better now and certainly more colourful. It’s all the rage of unicorn-coloured (though how does anyone know what colour unicorns are?), rainbow-lines arranged and duly Instagrammed dainty little things.
And the mini drops with pointy peaks, individual or sandwiched in couples are prettily called ‘kisses’. I’d say it's all a big improvement on the meringues of yesteryear.
The secret to perfect meringue
It's not much of a secret: you just have to beat the living daylights out of the egg whites and sugar, and then some. Seriously though, three things, all of them a bit of a chore.
First, warm up your sugar. It will dissolve easier while beaten into the whites.
Second, add it in by a spoonful. It's boring and tedious, I know.
Third: beat, whip, whisk patiently long after all the sugar has been added, until you can't feel any sugar granules when rubbing a drop of meringue between your fingers.
So making a perfect meringue it's not an easy or quick task. As much as I usually use a hand whisk to whip cream, I wouldn't dream to make meringue by hand.
Piping meringue kisses
'Rustic meringues' are not really a thing unless you count the enormous clouds of sugar peeking through the French patisseries windows. When making meringue nests it is perfectly fine to use a spoon, pile a mound on the baking sheet and sculpt a dip in the middle with said spoon. But neat and pretty kisses must be piped.
It’s not awfully easy though – meringue has the tendency of going its own ways and clinging to everything but the inside of the piping bag. When making this lot I ended up having to deep clean the kitchen and wash my hair.
But they turned out so good that from the first batch only about two thirds ended up filled. The rest disappeared during testing. There must have been some hungry unicorns around.
meringue kisses with chocolate fillingServings: makes about 2 dozen kissesTime: about an hour and a half
- For the meringues:
- 100g (3 eggs) egg whites
- 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
- pink food colouring (optional)
- For the white chocolate filling:
- 60g (2 oz.) white chocolate, chopped
- 50g (3 tbsp.) double cream
- For the dark chocolate filling:
- 60g (2 oz.) dark chocolate, chopped
- 50g (3 tbsp.) double cream
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Pour the sugar into an ovenproof dish and place it in the oven to warm up while you’re beating the egg whites.
2. Using a handheld mixer with balloon beaters or a standing mixer with the balloon attachment, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks at high speed – it should take about 10 minutes. Remove the sugar from the oven and turn it down to 100C/210F/gas ¼.
3. With the mixer running, start adding the sugar to the whites by a spoonful. Keep beating for a few more minutes after all the sugar has gone in order to dissolve it – it will make for a more stable meringue.
4. If using the food colouring, swirl a few drops or a tiny bit of the paste into all or some of the meringue mix with a spoon or a knife for a rippled look.
5. Prepare two flat baking trays, line them with parchment and stick the parchment to the trays with little blobs of the meringue mix.
6. You can just spoon the mix onto the trays but if you want to pipe shapely kisses you need to pack the mix into a piping bag. Just an ordinary plastic bag with a corner cut off will do; be prepared for a battle with the mix though, it wants to go everywhere but neatly into the bag.
7. Pipe the mix from close above the tray to form kisses about 3cm (1in.) large – or any size you like.
8. Bake the meringues for 35 – 50 minutes, depending how hard you want them to be. After 40 minutes they should be just dry on the outside and a little chewy in the middle.
9. To make each ganache, bring the individual cream amount to the boil in a small pan or a bowl in the microwave. Pour in the chopped chocolate, let it stand for a minute and stir until smooth. Chill both ganaches for about 10-15 minutes, until they thicken.
10. To fill the kisses, spoon a small blob of chocolate onto one meringue, sandwich it with another and twist lightly to spread the filling evenly.