Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Choc cinnamon meringues

Today is one of my favourite days of the year. No there are no presents involved but there is Christmas cheer a-plenty. It’s Tree Day! December 1 is the day our Christmas tree goes up and it officially begins to look a lot like Christmas in our little house. I’ve already elfed up the entrance to our building with tinsel and baubles and can’t wait to get started on the tree.

As is tradition (for the last four years anyway) I have a ham in the fridge ready to be baked this afternoon while we put up the tree. The smell of it baking away in the oven makes the whole place smell wonderful.

For dessert, I’m thinking a little eton mess made with my chocolate cinnamon merinuges, some cream, a little ice-cream and some berries and finished off with chocolate sauce. Sounds perfect to me!

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

The crisp sweet outer shell cracks with the gentlest of bites to reveal the soft marshmallow-like centre. My chocolate cinnamon meringues will melt in your mouth and leave you sorely tempted to go for your second. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand to make them eton mess style, they’re good enough to be eaten on their own without hankering for a little bit of something more.

Whipping up the meringue

In Woolies this morning I saw egg whites in a carton. I knew you could buy them frozen but I hadn’t seen them in liquid form before. They’d be great for making large quantities of meringue although I doubt they are free-range so I don’t think I’ll be buying them.

Start by beating the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Mix the sugar and cream of tartar together and then add 1 tablespoon of it at a time to the egg whites beating it well before adding the next spoon full.

Once it has all been added, up the mixer to medium speed and keep beating until the mixture is thick and glossy. To check if it’s well enough mixed, rub a little between your fingers. If it’s smooth, it’s ready, it if’s still grainy then keep mixing until it turns silky.

Fold in the cocoa and cinnamon

Stir the cinnamon into the cocoa and take the egg white bowl off the stand. Sift the cocoa and cinnamon over the top and then very carefully fold it through until the mixture is marbled. Don’t over-mix or you won’t have pretty swirled meringues.

Ready for baking

Spoon heaped tablespoons of mixture onto the baking tray and then pop it in the oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 100C fan-forced and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until they are firm.

Cooling

Meringues need to be cooled completely in the oven so make sure you have all your other cooking done for the day before you start. Crack the oven door open a little and then leave them to cool. It will take at least 3 hours.

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Meringues keep for quite a while as long as they’re stored in an airtight container. Serve them piled high for a fancy addition to a dessert table, topped with a little whipped cream and berries for a twist on pavlova or make mini versions to complement your coffee. However you make them you’re sure to love them. Enjoy!

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

What about you? Are you putting up your Christmas tree today? What are your traditions in the lead up to Christmas?

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

 

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Chocolate cinnamon meringues

Yield: 20

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 130C fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Mix the sugar and cream of tartar together then with the mixer running, add one tablespoon of the mixture at a time to the egg whites mixing well between each addition.
  4. When all the sugar has been added turn the speed up to medium and beat for a further few minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  5. Test if it's ready for baking by rubbing a little of the batter between your fingers. If it's smooth, it's ready, if not, keep beating until it is smooth.
  6. Cake the bowl off the stand.
  7. Mix the cocoa and cinnamon together and then sift over the meringue.
  8. Carefully fold it through to create a chocolate swirl.
  9. Spoon heaped tablespoons of mixture onto the lined baking tray.
  10. Put the tray in the oven and turn the temperature down to 100C fan-forced.
  11. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  12. Open the oven just a little and leave the meringues to cool completely in the oven. It will take at least 3 hours.
  13. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

 

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