I was looking for a treat to bring to lunch with friends, and came across this recipe for chocolate meringues in my Dorie Greenspan baking book. This worked out perfectly, as I had just amassed 4 or 5 egg whites from making pastry cream over the weekend. The meringues came out GREAT. They were chocolately but so light. A wonderful treat!
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup ground almonds (I omitted)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used 1/2 cup to make up for loss of almonds)
4 large eggs whites, at room temperature (I may have used 5, I forgot how many I had!)
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter (I added this to help stabilize the egg whites)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or finely chopped store-bought chocolate chips
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Sift the powdered sugar, ground almonds and cocoa.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large dry bowl (make sure the bowl is impeccably clean and dry), whip the egg whites and salt on medium speed until the egg whites are opaque (if using, add cream of tarter when egg whites are just getting frothy with large bubbles, like sea foam). Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip as you add the sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Then whip until the whites are firm and hold stiff peaks - they should still be very shiny. Beat in the vanilla, and remove the bowl from the mixer. With a larger rubber spatula, quickly but gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chopped chocolate. The whites will inevitably deflate as you fold in the dry ingredients, just try to work rapidly and use a light touch, so you deflate them as little as possible.
Drop the meringue by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between mounds. Dust the tops of the meringues very lightly with powdered sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200°F and bake for 1 hour more. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the meringues to stand in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until they reach room temperature. Carefully peel the meringues off the parchment or silicone lining. Store in an airtight tin or uncovered in a basket at room temperature.