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Chocolate Meringue Dessert

Light and airy with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, these chocolate meringue dessert treats have a delicate crisp exterior with a chewy interior. Made with only a few simple ingredients they are naturally gluten free but have big chocolate flavor! 

Meringue desserts on a glass cake dish.


 

Meringue desserts come in many forms, from pavlovas to macarons to lemon meringue pie, and can be flavored and decorated in a variety of ways. I decided to make individual desserts!

Softy, puffy and almost cloud-like these chocolate meringue puffs just disappear in the mouth! Plus with an intense chocolate flavor, they satisfy any chocolate craving.

This dessert is great to make year round but they make an especially delicious meringue dessert for the holidays as they are indulgent yet light tasting! I often dye these mini meringue kisses in different colors according to the holiday or season.

When you add some fresh berries to these meringue cookies, it’s almost as if you are enjoying a fresh berry meringue cake without the actual work of making a cake! 

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple ingredients: No flour or butter and just four simple ingredients are required for these meringue clouds!
  • Easy to make: With a prep time of only 15 minutes, these chocolate meringues are easy to put together! Most of the time is hands off baking time in the oven until they are done.
  • Delicious taste: Everyone will want one of these light and airy cookies with chocolate flavor! 
  • Versatile: Delicious as is but you can make them even more elegant with fresh berries, pastry cream or keep it simple and top them with some chocolate chips! 

Ingredients and Notes

  • Egg whites: Be careful when separating your egg whites from egg yolks as the yolk adds too much moisture. Save the yolks for egg yolk lemon cake! Make sure your egg whites are room temperature.
  • Fine sugar: Granulated sugar is too grainy, you want superfine sugar, also known as baker’s sugar. Make your own by pulsing sugar in the blender until it is fine in texture, don’t go too far or you will end up with powdered sugar, not what we want!
  • Cream of tartar: This helps stabilize the egg whites and provides structure to prevent cracking.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder is best to use in this chocolate meringue cookies recipe. Use the highest quality cocoa for best results. 
Ingredients for the dessert.

For the Chantilly Cream

  • Pastry cream: While this is optional, topping them with a delicious pastry cream like this coffee pastry cream or chocolate pastry cream really gives them a decadent taste.
  • Powdered sugar – also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • Cream – whole, heavy or whipping cream – at least 30% fat content

How to Make a Chocolate Meringue Dessert recipe

To get started with instructions, preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

The first thing to do is make the pastry cream and refrigerate it.

Pastry cream in a grey bowl.

Next, using a clean bowl in a stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. 

Beating the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Add the fine sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating 20 seconds before adding the next tablespoon then continue to beat until stiff peaks appear.

Egg white stiff in a mixing bowl.

Sift the cocoa into the meringue and gently fold until combined.

The cocoa sifted and mixed into the egg whites.

Transfer the mixture into your piping bag fitted with a tip and form a double ring on the prepared baking sheet. 

The rings on the prepared baking sheet before baking.

Bake for approximately 70-75 minutes then turn off the oven and leave the door closed. Let the meringue cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or overnight. If you have a bit of extra meringue batter then you can make small meringue kisses.

Meringue kisses on a white plate.

Fill any holes in the meringue with chocolate chips and then serve them topped with an Italian Chantilly cream and fresh fruit or grated chocolate. 

The meringue clouds baked and filled with chocolate chips on the baking sheet.

How to make an Italian Chantilly cream

Make the pastry cream the day before. In a large bowl beat the cream until soft peaks form, sift in the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

The whipped cream whipped to stiff peaks.

Gently fold the pastry cream into the whipped cream, until completely combined.

Making the Chantilly cream in a white bowl.

What is Chantilly Cream?

French Chantilly cream is a sweetened whipped cream, cream usually with a little vanilla extract that is whipped with some powdered sugar. Whereas Italian Chantilly cream is lightly sweetened whipped cream that is gently combined with Italian pastry cream.

Add-Ins and Substitutions

  • Cream of tartar: If you do not have cream of tartar you can still make these chocolate cookies! Just ensure your sugar is superfine and not granulated. 
  • Extract: You can add a teaspoon vanilla extract, almond extract or coffee extract for additional flavor. 
  • Nutty: Add up to a ½ cup chopped walnuts to the chocolate meringue kisses.
  • Double chocolate: Add some good quality chopped chocolate bar to the batter.
  • Toppings: Garnish your chocolate meringue cookies with chocolate kisses, sweet chocolate chips, grated milk, dark or even white chocolate, whipped cream and or fresh fruit including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and more.
Meringue clouds on a white cake stand.

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t over beat your egg whites: If you see the foam bubbles in the egg whites start to become too big, it will be hard for the cookies to maintain their structure while baking as they will lose their bond and deflate. 
  • Fresh egg whites: Do not use liquid egg whites from a carton.
  • No egg yolks: Be careful when separating the egg whites from the egg yolks. The yolk prevents the egg whites from creating stiff peaks.
  • Don’t add the sugar too soon: Adding your sugar too soon may cause your meringues not to fluff, wait until your egg whites are nice and frothy before starting to gradually add your sugar. 
  • Pipe cookies immediately: If you wait you risk the batter deflating.
  • Watch the humidity: It’s best not to make meringues on a humid day as they may not set up properly. 
  • Set overnight: I often bake these at night and then let them sit in the oven overnight. The next morning your meringue cookies are ready to eat! 
  • Stand mixer: Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for best results. A hand mixer could be used but will take longer and a whisk…well that will just be a lot of work! 
Meringue clouds on a glass dish and one on a plate.

Storage

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or if you have filled them with pastry cream store in the refrigerator for the same amount of time. Do not freeze them as the texture will change when thawed. 

FAQs

How can I tell when the meringue is done?

You will know they are done when they look dry on the top and they lift easily from the parchment paper to reveal an also dry bottom. 

Why did my chocolate meringue cookies crack? 

Either your oven was too hot or you opened the oven to take a peek at them while they were baking. Double check your oven with a thermometer to ensure that it is the correct temperature before baking and use your oven light and window instead of opening the oven door to check on them. 

Why is the meringue not smooth and flatten?

Your meringue will flatten if you do not beat your egg whites into stiff peaks. Follow the instructions to first beat your egg whites on medium speed, then add your cream of tartar and last gradually add your sugar until a stiff peaks form. 

Do I have to use a piping bag?

No, you can simply use a rounded spoon and scoop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Use the back of the spoon to recreate a cloud like shape.

Can I make these into meringue cookies? As a star shape? 

Yes! They look so beautiful piped that way and all you will need to do is use a frosting bag fitted with a star shaped tip. Pipe the meringue vertically onto the prepared baking sheet holding it in the same spot until the cookie is approximately 1 1/2 inches wide, then pull upward to form the pointed tip.

A meringue dessert on a white plate.

When you are looking for a light and airy dessert that’s both beautiful and delicious, then this Chocolate Meringue Dessert is just the one. I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did! Enjoy.

Meringue desserts on a glass cake dish.

Chocolate Meringue Dessert

Rosemary Molloy
Light and airy with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, this chocolate meringue dessert has a delicate crisp exterior with a chewy interior. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling down 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 clouds
Calories 231 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • ½ cup fine sugar (also known baker's sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sifted unsweetened cocoa (dutch processed)

FOR THE CHANTILLY CREAM

    Pastry cream filling you can use Coffee Pastry Cream or even Chocolate Pastry Cream.

    • 1 cup cream whole, heavy or whipping cream with at least 30% fat content
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar sifted

    EXTRAS

    • 6 chocolate kisses or even ¼ cup of chocolate chips
    • ½ cup fresh berries or even grated chocolate

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-heat oven to 200F. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • Make the pastry cream and refrigerate.
    • In the bowl of the mixer add the egg whites and beat on medium speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating 20 seconds before adding the next tablespoon, beat until stiff peaks appear.
    • Sift the cocoa into the meringue and gently fold until combined.
    • Transfer the mixture into the piping bag and form a double ring on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for approximately 70-75 minutes, turn off the oven, leave the door closed and let the meringue cool in the oven for at least 2 hours or even better overnight.
    • If there is a hole in the clouds then fill with either a chocolate kiss or even chocolate chips. Top with spoonfuls of the Chantilly cream and fresh fruit or grated chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve or top just before serving. Enjoy!

    CHANTILLY CREAM

    • In a large bowl beat the cream until soft peaks form, sift in the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pastry cream into the whipped cream, until completely combined.

    Notes

    Remove the eggs from the fridge at least 1 hour before using. They must be at room temperature to make meringue. 
    If you have a little leftover meringue batter just make a few meringue kisses.
    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or if you have filled them with pastry cream store in the refrigerator for the same amount of time. Do not freeze them as the texture will change when thawed. 
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 589IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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