MAY 1999

Chocolate-Rum Chiffon Cake

Rocky Road Fudge

Laura's Bittersweet Chocolate Cream Pie

Espresso-Chip Meringues

Sweet Spot


Espresso-Chip Meringues

Tips: Light, crisp confections, these are great for a "little something" with coffee or a not-too-heavy dessert. Once baked, they'll keep for a week or two at room temperature, if stored airtight. Make sure that your oven can handle the low temperature required here; some ovens balk at low temperatures (a good oven thermometer is always a wise investment). Make sure the bowl and beater(s) you'll use to beat the egg whites are absolutely grease-free, and do not make these meringues on a humid day.

  • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp. hot water
  • 4 egg whites, from eggs graded "large", at room temperature (see Notes)
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (see Notes)
  • 2/3 cup (4 ozs.) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Adjust oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Do not grease the foil! In small cup, dissolve espresso powder in hot water. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

I think you could make these in the small bowl of your electric stand mixer (fitted with a whisk beater), but I don't have a small bowl, so I use a large one. You can also use a sturdy, powerful, hand-held mixer. In non-plastic mixing bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Begin beating at medium speed until combined. Increase speed to high; beat to soft peaks.

Add sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed for about 15 seconds between additions. It will take a few minutes to get all of the sugar in, and the meringue will become quite stiff. When all sugar has been added, beat meringue at high speed for an additional minute or two. Add cooled, dissolved espresso. Beat at medium speed to incorporate, then beat at high speed for 1 minute. Remove from mixer. With large spatula, gently but quickly fold in chips just until well-combined.

Working quickly, drop very heaping tablespoons of the meringue onto the lined cookie sheets. I place 12 meringues on a sheet, leaving some room between each (these spread as they bake). Irregular shapes and lots of peaks and valleys are fine, so don't fuss with the shapes of the meringues too much.

Place meringues in preheated oven. Bake 45 minutes; switch sheets back-to-front, then switch positions in oven (lower rack to upper rack and vice versa). Bake 45 minutes longer (total baking time is 90 minutes). TURN OVEN OFF but leave door closed; allow meringues to stand in turned-off oven, undisturbed, for two hours.

After two hours, gently peel meringues from foil (they should peel off easily) and cool completely on cooling rack. Store airtight.

22-24 meringues

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