Disaster-Proof Raspberry-Chocolate Meringues

April 23, 2011

I’ve been working in kitchens for so long that I have to admit disasters don’t often happen any more. That doesn’t mean things always turn out perfectly, but usually I can rescue things or at least make them better.  Yesterday, however, disaster struck.

It’s what can happen even to an experienced cook when you allow yourself to become distracted.  I was making the Paska for this weekend.  Paska is an egg-rich Ukrainian Easter bread decorated with crosses, flowers and braids made out of bread dough.  I make it every Easter and intended to blog about it this year, although not in the way I’m now doing.  Because I make Paska only once a year I have to concentrate when I make it.  This year I was multi-tasking, what with cleaning, editing and answering phone calls, such that my baking concentration got lost.

The bread was in the oven looking beautiful when I mixed up the baking time. I thought the bread had baked longer than it actually had. As I turned the bread over to check the bottom, the loaf collapsed on the counter. Making Paska is an all-day operation, and at that point I had spent almost 6 hours on this bread. I threw the collapsed bread back into the oven and I’m only sharing this story to let you know we all make mistakes. It finished baking and I’m sure it still will taste just fine.  I’ll still serve the bread but I’m slicing it long before anyone sees it. (And no, I’m not posting a picture of it!)

My planned blog posting was ruined but I still wanted to give you all a recipe. So I decided to use some of the leftover egg whites from the Paska. I wanted to make something quick, simple, light and preferably featuring both chocolate and fruit. I came up with these quick-and-easy, and thoroughly disaster-proof, Disaster-Proof Raspberry-Chocolate Meringues. They can be made in about 15 minutes hands-on time. The meringue is like a fluffy marshmallow surrounded by a crisp shell, with a chocolate-almond topping gilded with fresh raspberries. You cannot go wrong.  I promise.

For one additional last-minute Easter idea, my friend Barbara came up with the perfect chicken-inspired Easter egg display: Jelly beans in a baby chick feeder.  She says, “This is great for kids as their little fingers can only pick out one jelly bean at a time from the tiny holes.”

Raspberry-Chocolate Meringues

Print This Recipe

Meringues:
2 egg whites (1/4 cup)
Pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Topping:
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 (6 oz.) container fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 250ºF. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, slowly beat in sugar. Continue beating until stiff shiny peaks form.

Drop meringue into 12 mounds  onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. With small spoon, make shallow indentation in center of meringues and pull edges out to resemble long floppy peaks or porcupine quills (use your imagination and playfulness to make these fun looking).

Bake 30 minutes or until crisp. Turn off oven; let meringues stand in oven 30 minutes. Place on wire rack; cool completely.

Place chocolate, cream and almond extract in glass measuring cup. Microwave 30 to 60 seconds or until chocolate is almost melted, adding additional time in 10-second increments if necessary. Stir until smooth. Spoon chocolate in center of meringues; top each meringue with 3 raspberries. (Meringues can be made up to 2 hours ahead. Refrigerate.)

12 meringues

 

2 Responses to “Disaster-Proof Raspberry-Chocolate Meringues”

  1. April 23, 2011 at 9:36 am, Barbara said:

    Ha! I can’t really take the credit for the jelly bean/chick feeder idea; I think I saw it years ago at our neighborhood CHAT group! Fun to see it here, though.

    I’m sure the bread will taste wonderful!

    Barbara

    Reply

    • April 23, 2011 at 9:50 am, admin said:

      Well, I loved it and I’d never seen it before. Yes, there’s so many egg yolks and butter in the bread it will taste fabulous but it looks smashed….

      Reply

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