Rose Meringue Cookies
For the Filling:
280 gm dark cooking chocolate
1 cup thickened cream
For the Meringues:
4 egg whites
170g caster sugar
A few drops pink gel food colouring (I prefer to use Wilton rose pink or Americolour deep pink.)
1 tsp of vanilla
Makes about 12-15 Cookies
To Make the Filling
1/ Place the cooking chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl or jug. Microwave for (no more than) 2o seconds at a time until completely melted and smooth with no lumps or chunks of unmelted chocolate.
To Make the Meringues
Preheat the oven to 100C (200F). If your oven doesnt go as low as 100C (200F) set it to the lowest temp but cook for a shorter amount of time. The closer it is to 100C (200F), the better as any temperature higher than that will result in a chewy meringue cookie
1/ Whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Gradually, and very slowly, add the sugar, while continuing to whip. Mixture should be very stiff and glossy.
2/ Add a few drops of food gel and vanilla in your meringue, and gently fold.
3/ Turn your piping bag inside out and use a toothpick to apply 4 straight lines of pink food gel on bag. Turn back around and fill your piping bag with meringue mixture, just over half way. Twist the end of the bag tight.
4/ Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw circles on the paper about 5cm (2 inches) in diameter. Turn the paper over so the side with the circles is under the meringues. Grab a little bit of meringue on your finger and dab each corner underneath the baking paper and firmly press the paper onto the meringue to help it stick. This will prevent it from flying around your oven when baking if you're using a fan forced oven. :0)
5/ Pipe rosettes using a piping bag fitted with a 1M TIP onto parchment lined baking sheets, and bake for 1 hour or until the meringues are very dry and peel off the parchment easily.
6/ Leave them in the oven to cool completely to avoid cracks forming on your lovely meringues
**NOTE: I said 2 hours in the video. It can depend on your oven. Generaly it will take 1 hour, and the best way to know is once they come out of the oven. They'll peel off the baking paper easy without sticking at all
Using a teaspoon place a dollop of ganache in on top of one cookie. Sandwich another meringue rosette on top. Keep in an airtight container.
Any questions, or if I've left something out, feel free to ask!
5 TIPS TO GETTING THE PERFECT MERINGUE:
1/ Use fresh eggs for everything except for macarons.
As general rule of thumb, fresh eggs yield better meringue. Except when making macarons where aged egg whites are preferred to ensure successful ‘feet’, the rest of baking will require fresh eggs. How to tell if an egg is fresh? Just place the egg in a bowl of water; a fresh egg will sink in the bottom and lay on its side.
2/ Ensure there is no trace of egg yolks in the white
Easily said, but even a trace of yolk when you separate the eggs can cause the meringue to flatten or not whipped out properly. You can use an egg separator if you are not confident, or confidently scoop out the yolk using the fingertips and let the egg whites spill into a bowl.
3/ Ensure the bowl and tools used are clean. Preferably used a copper bowl.
Meringue hates grease and even water, so if the stand mixer bowl has trace of grease or butter, this can cause the meringue to deflate without reaching stiff peaks. Make sure the spatula, spoon or whisk used are throughly wash and dry. Whisking egg whites in copper bowl also gives better results to the fluffiness of the meringue.
4/ Use stabilisers.
Egg whites alone will not be whipped to perfection without the addition of some sugar, salt or other stabilisers such as cream of tartar or vinegar. You may not need a lot of sugar, but just enough to lightly sweeten the meringue and let it hold its shape even during baking ( like meringue nest). Add some vinegar (like most Pavlova recipes) or just a teeny weeny pinch of cream of tartar ( when you are making chiffon cake or dacquoise). Some meringue can also be stabilised with cooked sugar syrup, as in the technique in making swiss meringue buttercream.
5/ Do not make meringue in humid weather.
Meringues can be temperamental and tend to be weepy in humid weather. The sugar in the meringue will absorb humidity in the air, making it impossible for the meringue to dry and cripsy. This should not really be much of an issue if you are folding the meringue for chiffon cakes, but will be disastrous if you are baking them for Pavlovas or Dacquoise.