Aunt Jeanette’s Chocolate Meringues

chocolate meringuesThese  chocolate meringue biscuits are undoubtedly the dessert that I make most often.  My quick as a flash go to pudding.  Likelihood is, if you have eaten at my house, you have tried these rich, crunchy, fudgey treats. They really take a maximum of 20 minutes to make from start to finish, which makes this sweet finale to any meal all the more irresistible. In my fantasy life, I like to think this family secret will one day be my most famous recipe.  That, however, is up to you.

But let me be clear.  These are NOT macaroons. These meringues should not be piped into a perfect round.  They bake like a cookie (and not slowly at low temperature).  They are free form, crunchy on the outside,  soft on the inside.  And completely delicious.

bonus - these chocolate delights are also dairy and gluten free

bonus – these chocolate delights are also dairy and gluten free

The recipe for these delectable treats found its way into my life via my Great Great Aunt Jeanette, who lived until she was 97 years old.  As a child, I spent many holidays at her wonderful Manhattan apartment, with a large balcony and views across the East River.  She had exquisite taste, and beautiful furniture, some of which I was lucky enough to inherit and schlep across the Pond, keeping her memory alive.  However, even in my younger years, I found it strange that her kitchen table had only four chairs.  Where did everyone eat?  Who only made meals for four people? But that is New York for you.

don'e be alarmed by the amount of chocolate

don’t be alarmed by the amount of chocolate

Given that I am sure she catered for fewer people than me, or was simply less greedy, I have increased the quantities in the original recipe.  It only really made 10 at a stretch, and that is really never enough.  Her recipe also included 1/2 cup unspecified roughly chopped nuts (as family recipes often do), and while I have made them with hazelnuts and walnuts, I really do prefer them unadulterated.

Please do not be alarmed by the amount of chocolate.  It works.  And please do not lower the oven temperature – it ensures a crispy outside edge.  And please do not be tempted to fuss and pipe the mix, it will deflate.  Just dollop spoonfuls on a lined baking sheet, or if you want to be more exacting, use a small ice cream scoop.  But follow the instructions.  Especially the cooling time.  They work.  This is probably my most tested recipe.

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Aunt Jeanette’s Chocolate Meringues

Makes 16-18 meringues depending on their size

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
170g (3/4 cup) sugar
170g (9oz) dark chocolate melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
Line 2 baking sheets with liners or parchment paper
Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and allow to cool
While chocolate is cooling, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until almost stiff
Slowly add sugar and beat until smooth, silky, shiny and meringue like
Add vanilla extract
Carefully stir in cooled chocolate with a metal spoon until no egg whites show
Drop by soup spoon size dollops onto baking sheet (I use a small ice cream scoop for this)
Bake for 10 minutes until crispy on the outside.  Do not open the oven part way through
Cool for 1 minute exactly on sheet before removing to rack to cool.
This final step is very important as the meringues need to cool enough to move without breaking too much, but cannot take more heat as the inside will be too firm.  Allowing them to cool for 1 minute makes sure you will be left with a crunchy outside and chewy inside

chocolate meringues

Enjoy!

10 Comments

  1. Hanna you’re recipes are amazing and I love your posts. Just a quick question, these meringues look like they are sitting on a chocolate biscuit base? Can you explain?
    Hope you are well
    Love
    Lucyx

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Lucy! They are not on a biscuit base, when the meringues cook in a hot oven that is just how they turn out! Would love to see you. Hope all is well.

      Reply
  2. Am I being thick – the 1 min cooling is outside the oven but on the oven tray ? – then must be removed from the oven tray. ?

    Reply
    • Nicola, they cool on the tray outside of the oven for a minute, and then cool completely on a cooling rack. Let me know how they are!

      Reply
  3. So I am making these gorgeous meringues again ! 2 questions – if I make them really large will they collapse? What to do with all the yolks? ( I can’t make custard – have tried and don’t like mayo)

    Reply
    • Nicola, I would not make them too large, as the amount of chocolate may make them collapse. You can always use the yolks as part of a cheesecake or lemon tart, or make a few pie crusts with egg yolks for the freezer to use another time. So glad you are making them again!

      Reply
  4. Hi Hanna I have just made these and they look different – flatter and more spread out, as if they went sideways rather than upwards. They also don’t have that biscuity looking base. Any idea what happened? Taste is great, chewy inside.
    Best of luck for final days – not long to go now!
    Fritzi x

    Reply
    • Hi Fritzi, so glad you made them! There could be a few reasons why the were a little flatter. The weather really affects meringues and sometimes on damp days they just domt get the lift. The egg whites also need to be stuff before adding the sugar and then really keep whipping after all the sugar is incorporated for a few minutes. Most likely the other reason may be that the chocolate was still a little too warm when you mixed it in. It really needs to cool so it is no longer hot to the touch otherwise is can deflate the whites. Glad they still tasted good! Let me know how the next batch goes!

      Reply
  5. Hanna – love your blog! You are an inspiration! Just made these today after not having made them in a while – they are so delicious and so easy to make right before Friday night dinner ! A little blessing of a dessert xx Nicole

    Reply
  6. These are simply the best thing I have ever tasted. I’m fairly sure these sweet treats were in part what made, Aunt Jeanette ‘great great’ – thanks for sharing X

    Reply

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