Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chocolate Meringue Gondolas

This recipe is from Great Cookies by Carole Walters. The results are light, delectable, and wheat-free. Great for after a heavy meal when you want a touch of sweetness, and perfect for Passover.


Preheat oven to 275°, with racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Meringues

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
4 large egg whites at room temp
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. superfine sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the meringues, chop the unsweetened chocolate in the food processor until fine. I found putting the chocolate in the freezer for 15 minutes helped keep it cool.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat at medium until frothy. Add the salt, increase the speed, and beat until it forms firm peaks. Add 2/3 c. sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Add the vanilla and beat 1 minute more until it forms stiff peaks.

Fold in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in four additions, then fold in the chopped chocolate.

Form 'quenelles' (little football shapes) with the meringue by passing the mixture between two spoons and place them on the parchment 2" apart. I believe that using a pastry bag to pipe them out would work too. Hell, just blob them on to the parchment if you want.

Start baking both pans at the same time. Bake 50 minutes until firm and crisp, rotating the sheets partway through cooking. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed and pans inside for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before taking the cookies off the sheet.

Glaze

4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. half and half
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. hot water
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped unsalted pistachios

In a microwave safe bowl (you can also do this in a heavy-bottomed pan on the stove), heat the chocolate at 50% in 60 second bursts until the chocolate melts and is stir-able. Add the half and half and heat again at 50% for 30 second bursts until it blends well when stirred. Add the honey, hot water, and vanilla.

Drizzle onto the meringues and then sprinkle with the pistachios. Try to find the unsalted ones because they have a more vibrant green. Allow the chocolate to cure on the cookies for 2 hours before eating.

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