I whipped these up a while ago when I found myself sitting with a few extra egg whites leftover from a batch of fresh pasta I had made. The perfect excuse to make meringues! Not just any meringues, no no... but an extra special version with dark chocolate and crunchy almonds. They were so delicious that I've made them several times since.
I absolutely love making these, and was thrilled with the way they turned out when I first tried them. Biting through the crispy outer shell, you'll find a soft chocolatey centre loaded with dark chocolate and crunchy nutty chunks. And the flavour is just divine - the dark chocolate offsets the sweetness and the almonds add a whole new flavour to the mix, transforming an ordinary meringue into something truly decadent.
If you have never made meringues before (or if you have) please do give these a try. They don't take much effort and really are amazing! Serve them as is for tea or a naughty sweet snack, or dress them up with vanilla bean ice-cream or cream for a sublime dessert.
Cook's note: When making meringues I work with a basic recipe of 50g castor sugar per egg white. If you find yourself sitting with more or less than 3 whites then that's a good guide to use! i.e. 2 egg whites = 100g castor sugar, 4 egg whites = 200g castor sugar, etc. You don't have to add chocolate or nuts, you can simply make plain meringues using the egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ALMOND MERINGUES
Makes approximately 9 large meringues
3 large egg whites, room temperature
150g castor sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
50g raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp cocoa
Step 2.) Use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage.
Step 3.) Gradually add the castor sugar while whisking until you have a thick, glossy mixture.
Step 4.) Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Step 5.) Add the chopped chocolate and almonds to the bowl. Use a metal spoon to fold these into the meringue.
Step 6.) Sift the cocoa over the meringue mix. Fold this into the meringue, but not completely, so that you get a streaky effect.
Step 7.) Drop heaped tablespoonfuls of the meringue onto your prepared tray.
Step 8.) Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until firm. Turn the oven off but keep the oven door closed, and leave the meringues to dry for a further hour.
Step 9.) Allow to cool completely before piling on a plate and serving with ice-cream or freshly whipped cream.