Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chocolate Meringues with Raspberry Cream Filling

I found a recipe for making meringue "cups" in my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. They looked intriguing as I've never made meringues before; however, these were hazelnut-flavored, and I wanted chocolate, so I did some online research, found out how to make chocolate meringues and then played around with the cream filling to work with the ingredients I had at home.

The chocolate candy pieces you see on top are made from Wilton candy melts and one of the candy molds (really easy to do--directions are on the mold). I served these up on Oscar night.

Chocolate Meringues with Raspberry Cream Filling

Ingredients for Meringue Cups:
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa

Ingredients for Raspberry Cream Filling:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Solo brand Raspberry Cake & Pastry Filling

Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Draw ten 3-inch circles on paper. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches between each circle.

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, beat the ingredients on medium speed until soft peaks form. This will take several minutes. The mixture is ready when you are able to get the tips of the peaks to curl over when you lift up the whisk attachment.

Gradually add 1-1/3 cups sugar, one tablespoon at a time. This should take about four minutes on high speed, after which you should get stiff peaks (tips do not curl over at all), and the sugar should be almost dissolved. Gently fold in the cocoa until it is evenly incorporated into the mixture.

Put meringue mixture into a decorating bag with a large open tip like #12. Pipe the bottom of the meringue cups within the 3-inch circles you drew on the parchment paper. Then pipe up the sides to form a cup. Bake in 300-degree oven for 35 minutes. Do not open the door. Turn off the oven and let meringues dry in there for an hour. Remove from oven and cool completely on cookie sheet.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Add the 1/3 cup sugar and beat again. Add whipping cream and beat on low speed until combined. Then beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold in raspberry cake and pastry filling.

Remove meringues from parchment paper. Fill them with the raspberry cream filling. Cover loosely and chill 2-24 hours.

Before serving, drizzle plate with chocolate sauce or syrup. Place meringue cup on top and then add chocolate candy decoration, if desired.

You could also garnish with chocolate chips or fresh fruit.

Yields: about ten servings.

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