This afternoon, I had every intention of making a strawberry tart. I separated some eggs for the pastry cream and got started on it... completely ignoring the fact that when the recipe calls for whole milk, it means whole milk and skim will NOT work. I ended up with a gummy mess that had unappetizing lumps (note to self: look closely at fractions! 1/2 of a cup of cornstarch is not going to make pretty pastry cream when the recipe really says 1/3). Plus, I decided I would rather just enjoy my strawberries in their natural state.
However, with that disaster in the garbage can I remembered I had six egg whites just begging to be made into meringues. I also had a killer chocolate craving, so I decided to make some chocolate meringues.
This recipe makes a lot - probably 50-60 meringues, but is easily halved. You could also substitute some chopped nuts for the chocolate. I would have included a teaspoon of vanilla extract, but I used the last of it in the pastry cream fiasco.
Recipe adapted from "Joy of Cooking"
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 250.
Mix together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on low for about a minute. Turn the speed up to medium high and pour in the sugar. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold in the chocolate.
Pipe through a large star pastry tip onto silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake for about 40 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and open the door a crack, with the cookies still inside. This will dry them out and make them nice and crunchy. When cool, remove from the oven.