Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chocolate-filled Meringue Kisses

These cocoa-meringue kisses are filled with a luscious chocolate ganache filling and make for a wonderful treat.

If you are new to baking this recipe might appear daunting because of the use of pastry bags and piping. However, I suggest you give it a try anyway. Although these kisses look lovely when they are perfectly piped from a bag, they taste just as delicious if they come out a little funny-looking. If you don't want to mess with pastry bags, you can even just dollop them with a spoon. Once they are baked, they look quite nice even when they didn't start out perfectly shaped.

I first got this recipe at a chocolate workshop hosted by 4chef.

Chocolate-filled Meringue Kisses

- 100 grams of egg whites (for me this added up to about 4 egg whites) 
- 100 grams of superfine sugar (if you can't get superfine sugar, simply run regular white sugar through a food processor to make it finer). 
- 100 grams confectioners sugar
- 15 grams of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 125 ml heavy cream
- 125 grams of semi-sweet chocolate 


1. Bring the heavy cream just to a boil in a saucepan, and pour over the chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate until you have a uniform mixture, then chill in the refrigerator until the mixture is quite solid. 
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam, then slowly add the superfine sugar. Keep beating until you get a very stiff foam that has a slight silvery sheen to it. 

3. Sift the cocoa powder and confectioners sugar onto the foam and very gently fold into the foam until you get a uniform, lightly cocoa-colored mixture. 
4. Heat an oven to very low heat (100 C/200 F) . If you use a pastry bag, transfer the mixture to a pastry bag. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and pipe circles of foam onto the tin. These will serve as the bottoms of the kisses. If you don't want to use a pastry bag, just dollop a bit of foam onto the tin and flatten it to make a sort of circle.  

5. Top each "bottom" with a small dollop of the chocolate ganache filling. Then pipe or dollop a meringue "cover" above each bottom so that the chocolate is completely covered, and the "kisses" look more or less like what you see in the picture. 

6. Bake the kisses in the oven for about 2-2.5 hours, until they easily come apart from the baking parchment. Do not open the oven during the first hour of baking. 

7. The kisses are wonderful when served warm, with the chocolate slightly melted inside, but they are also delicious a few days later, so you can keep them in an airtight container. 

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