Chocolate Meringue Cookies, Chocolate Yogurt Ganache and Honeyed Raspberries

March 28th, 2014  |  11 Comments

meringue_cookies_final

It’s no surprise that we are not feather-weights around here. We like our cream and butter. This IS a pastry blog after all. So imagine my amazement when Mia from Shari’s Berries dropped me a note to talk to me about health and fitness — two words that sound as foreign to me as jibing (a sailing term) and spelunking (a cave explorer’s term). She graciously let me know that there was a focus on health and nutrition in the month of March, and might I be able to come up with a healthier recipe utilizing chocolate for their Fit for Fitness campaign, something along the lines of these Chocolate Sables.

Ohhhhh! Chocolate! Well that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame! Of course I want to swim in the seas of chocolate. Any excuse will do.

Truth be told, I never had a fat day in the restaurant kitchen. Even though I was surrounded by treats Willy Wonka would weep over, I just didn’t gain any weight. Could it be the 14-hour-straight shifts of running around, up the stairs, down the stairs, heaving 50 pound bags of flour, and sweating it up during a frantic, sweaty dinner service? In fact, just about every chef I’ve ever met was shaped like a lollipop — big head (ego), skinny body. Myself included. After toiling in food all day, the last thing any of us wanted to do was eat. Especially our own food.

meringue_cookies_final2

But for me, those days are done. Now, if I so much as breath in any calorie-laden fumes, my wiggle gets more jiggle. I’m just prone. Creating something seemingly decadent, yet quite light makes total sense for me and this was just the challenge I needed. I thought about the types of desserts that are inherently light, and worked around that. Meringues, for example, are pumped full of air. Who gains weight by eating air?

And although I do love meringue cookies on their own, I wanted to elevate them a bit and showcase their beautiful appearance and texture. Another component we all think of when mulling over lighter sweets is fruit. And raspberries is a classic partner to chocolate. And what else do we think of when eating well? Yogurt. Why not add more chocolate to yogurt? All in all this, dessert is hardly a dessert! What with all the fruit, egg whites, and yogurt, I’d dare say this could keep you alive for years!

Chocolate Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Yogurt Ganache, and Honey-Glazed Raspberries

I got about 20 smaller cookies out of this — lets say 2-inchers, but you can try big, cloud-like puffs and get 10.

For the chocolate meringue cookies:
4 egg whites
3/4 cup (170 g) sugar
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (around 60-70%, to keep it healthy)

For the honeyed raspberries:
about a cup and a half raspberries
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange zest

For the Chocolate Yogurt Ganache:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, (60-70%)
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup (250 g) plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

 

1. The meringue loot. Just 3 ingredients! Woohoo! Start by preheating that oven to 275 degrees F. It’s a low temperature, and we’re basically looking to “dry” these out, without getting a browning effect.

meringue_cookies_ingredients

 

Into a bowl go the egg whites and sugar. The bowl needs to be big enough to accommodate some whipping. You can do this with an electric mixer, a handheld mixer, or just a big bowl, if you are buff enough to do this manually, with a whisk.

meringue_cookies_egg_sugar

 

 Place your bowl over a pot of boiling water that is hopefully small enough to keep the bottom of your bowl from touching the water.

meringue_cookies_double_boiler

Don’t waste a second. Whisk quickly so that the eggs don’t start to cook into a sugar omelette. All we are trying to do is warm this mix, which should only take a moment. This will make for a much more stable meringue — one that no one is going to over-whip.

meringue_cookies_whisk

It will indeed start to froth up. Test it every few seconds by sticking your (hopefully recently washed) finger in there. If it feels like a nice, warm bath that you wouldn’t mind climbing into, it’s ready.

meringue_cookies_heat_test

Go to town with the whipping. Don’t be shy and rev that engine on high! Because we heated this first, it won’t likely overwhip and curd up on us, like an unheated meringue is prone to do. This will go for about 3 good minutes.

meringue_cookies_whip

While that’s working, melt your chocolate.

meringue_cookies_melt_chocolate

And when your world starts to look billowy, and thick…

meringue_cookies_whipped

with some stiff peaks…

meringue_cookies_fluff

You can go ahead and start drizzling the chocolate over the top.

meringue_cookies_drizzle

Carefully, and delicately, fold this together. And be quick about it, too. The heat from the chocolate starts to degrade the lovely air we just worked so hard to whip in. Keep the strokes to a minimum to get the lovely marbling. Drizzle in a little more chocolate over the top if you want more streaks.

meringue_cookies_swirl

Plop these clouds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Dang, I need to buy some new ones!) I did heaping tablespoons, which will grow to double in size in the oven. If you want a fist-sized cookie, go bigger.

meringue_cookies_drop

If you’re feeling jazzy, you can use a fork to manipulate some claws out of the top. Just grab a little and pull upward in spots.

meringue_cookies_fork_shapes

Pop them in the oven for about 1 hour for the smaller cookie, and 1 hour and 15 minutes for a bigger cookie. They’ll be crispy on the outside and chewier on the inside. If you want a more crispy result throughout, just dry them out longer, perhaps 15 more minutes. Let cool.

meringue_cookies_only

When you are about ready to serve, you can macerate the berries. Sugar releases the fruit’s liquid. Here are the goods.

Say what? Three ingredients again!?

meringue_cookies_raspberry_ingredients

Add the honey…

meringue_cookies_raspberry_add_honey

And zest. I kinda wish I used a fine grater, or chopped this up. That’s really what I recommend doing. Stir it up. It’ll look dry now, but in a moment it will look juicy. It’s no big deal if you crush some of the berries.

meringue_cookies_raspberry_add_zest

While the berries are waiting, lets quickly throw together the yogurt ganache. Ok, this time, 4 ingredients, sorry.

meringue_cookies_yogurt_ganache

Pour sugar and milk into a pot, and heat them until the sugar is melted.

meringue_cookies_yogurt_ganache_heat

Off the heat, add the yogurt…

meringue_cookies_yogurt_ganache_add_yogurt

…and whisk.

meringue_cookies_yogurt_ganache_whisk_yogurt

Pour this over the melted chocolate…

meringue_cookies_yogurt_ganache_pour

…and whisk it up. It will be a mousse-like, happy consistency.

meringue_cookies_yogurt_ganache_ready

You can plate this up by dropping a blob of yogurt mousse on a plate, then some raspberries, then a meringue or two, depending on how many “light” things you want to eat. Some of the raspberry juices have been drizzled around the plate too, just to be schmancy.

meringue_cookies_final2

Now go eat a burger, you’re wasting away!

 

Chocolate Meringue Cookies, Chocolate Yogurt Ganache and Honeyed Raspberries

I got about 20 smaller cookies out of this — lets say 2-inchers, but you can try big, cloud-like puffs and get 10.

For the chocolate meringue cookies:
4 egg whites
3/4 cup (170 g) sugar
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (around 60-70%, to keep it healthy)

For the honeyed raspberries:
about a cup and a half raspberries
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange zest

For the Chocolate Yogurt Ganache:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, (60-70%)
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup (250 g) plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

 

For the chocolate meringue cookies:

1. Start by preheating that oven to 275 degrees F. It’s a low temperature, and we’re basically looking to “dry” these out, without getting a browning effect.

2. Into a bowl go the egg whites and sugar. The bowl needs to be big enough to accommodate some whipping. You can do this with an electric mixer, a handheld mixer, or just a big bowl, if you are buff enough to do this manually, with a whisk. Place your bowl over a pot of boiling water that is hopefully small enough to keep the bottom of your bowl from touching the water.

3. Don’t waste a second. Whisk quickly so that the eggs don’t start to cook into a sugar omelette. All we are trying to do is warm this mix, which should only take a moment. This will make for a much more stable meringue — one that no one is going to over-whip.

4. It will indeed start to froth up. Test it every few seconds by sticking your (hopefully recently washed) finger in there. If it feels like a nice, warm bath that you wouldn’t mind climbing into, it’s ready.

5. Go to town with the whipping. Don’t be shy and rev that engine on high! Because we heated this first, it won’t likely overwhip and curd up on us, like an unheated meringue is prone to do. This will go for about 3 good minutes.

6. While that’s working, melt your chocolate. You can microwave it for 30-second intervals, and stir in between, until it’s melted down.

7. When the meringue get’s stiff peaks, remove from the mixer, and working quickly, start drizzling the chocolate over the top.

8. Carefully, and delicately, fold this together. And be quick about it, too. The heat from the chocolate starts to degrade the lovely air we just worked so hard to whip in. Keep the strokes to a minimum to get the lovely marbling. Drizzle in a little more chocolate over the top if you want more streaks.

9. Plop these clouds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I did heaping tablespoons, which will grow to double in size in the oven. If you want a fist-sized cookie, go bigger.

10. If you want, you can use a fork to manipulate some claws out of the top. Just grab a little and pull upward in spots.

11. Pop them in the oven for about 1 hour for the smaller cookie, and 1 hour and 15 minutes for a bigger cookie. They’ll be crispy on the outside and chewier on the inside. If you want a more crispy result throughout, just dry them out longer, perhaps 15 more minutes. Let cool.

For the raspberries:

1. When you are about ready to serve, you can macerate the berries. Sugar releases the fruit’s liquid.

2. Add the honey and the zest, and stir. In a few minutes they will become juicy. It’s no big deal if you crush some of the berries while stirring.

For the yogurt ganache:

1. Pour sugar and milk into a pot, and heat them until the sugar is melted.

2. Off the heat, add the yogurt, and whisk it in.

3. Pour this over the melted chocolate and whisk it up. It will be a mousse-like, happy consistency.

You can plate this up by dropping a blob of yogurt mousse on a plate, then some raspberries, then a meringue or two, depending on how many “light” things you want to eat. Some of the raspberry juices can be drizzled around the plate too, just to be schmancy.






11 Responses to “Chocolate Meringue Cookies, Chocolate Yogurt Ganache and Honeyed Raspberries”

  1. Rachel says:

    This dessert looks fantastic! I’ll def try it out very soon. I just made the triple chocolate mousse cake today and it is divine! Thanks heaps for sharing the recipe. :)

    I can stare at uncooked meringue for a long time it’s such beautiful thing especially when being folded with different color batter!

  2. PastryPal says:

    Rachel — Yes! It’s absolutely hypnotizing!

    And thanks for trying a recipe and glad to hear it worked out for you!

  3. a fabulous recipe that looks so good I’m practically licking the monitor. Keep ‘em coming. You are one of the best food bloggers in America. But you knew that!

  4. Chana says:

    It’s so nice to have you back!

  5. PastryPal says:

    Chana — Thanks for still reading here :).

  6. PastryPal says:

    Linda — That’s more praise than I can handle!

  7. Kelp says:

    Hello Irina!! I completely dry out my meringue cookies. I bake mine at 90C for about 2 hours the big ones take about 3 to 4 hours. I have a problem with meringue cookies. After I bring them out of the oven they are dry to touch and comes off easily and bit crunchy but after I leave them outside on the plate for about 30 min to an hour they become sticky to touch. Is that how meringues are supposed to be if they are left outside? If they are not supposed to be sticky can you please tell me how i can fix this problem? I have scoured/ searched the internet for a meringue recipe. I have tried them all.. French, Italian and Swiss meringue. But I love the Italian and Swiss meringue the most on the french version i can taste grainey sugar but on italian and swiss meringue i dont taste grainy sugar. Thank you!!! Kelp.

  8. Kelp says:

    Let me be more clear on how I bake my meringue cookies. I preheat my oven at 100C and bake the meringues at 100C for 15 min and bake the remaining time at 90C. I pipe the meringues in small rosettes it takes about an hour to an hour and thirty minutes a but when I am making the big meringue clouds like the ones you made takes about 3 to 4 hours to completely dry them out. When i bring them out of the oven they are dry and crunchy and does not stick to my fingers but they do not remain dry and crunchy the get sticky after a while. Thank you!!!! Kelp.

  9. PastryPal says:

    Hi Kelp — I understand your dilemma and typically, once meringues sit out, they start to absorb moisture from the air and that is what makes them sticky. Any humidity starts to dissolve the sugar on the surface. Do you live in a humid climate? When I worked in a very hot kitchen, I used to store them in one layer and wrap them EXTREMELY well, with several layers of plastic wrap. Even so, after a few days, they would begin to soften up and get sticky. At that point, you can try to re-dry them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, just to eliminate the stickiness.

  10. Kelp says:

    Hello Irina!!!! Thank you for replying to my message. I do live in a humid climate. Re-drying them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes is an excellent idea. Can you tell me at what oven temperature shall I re-dry the meringues?
    I have received the master the macaron book and the vanilla buttercream that you have there is by far the best of the best. I made italian meringue out of it as well as buttercream. The recipe is so versatile :) Even before you have posted swiss meringue recipe. I have made italian meringue using your vanilla butter cream recipe :) The italian meringues came out perfect. I will be trying this chocolate swiss meringue as soon as I have some leftover egg whites. I love your blog and the detailed picture illustrations. I have tried a lot of the recipes and they turned out perfect. Thank you, Kelp.

  11. PastryPal says:

    Thank you for your generous comments, Kelp. I appreciate that you tried out so many of the recipes and can confirm they worked out for you. This helps to know I am communicating the steps properly.

    As for the drying temperature, I’d suggest a low-oven, around 200 degrees F, so that there is no browning, only a little dehydration.

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