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disaster-proof raspberry-chocolate meringues

These can be made in about 15 minutes hand-on time. The meringue is like a fluffy marshmallow surrounded by a crisp shell, with a chocolate-almond topping gilded with fresh raspberries. You can’t go wrong.

 

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