I'm not one for celebrating Valentine's Day at all but I can't say no to chocolate and cute treats any time of year. These heart-shaped chocolate meringues are totally sweet and they're perfect for packing up in little goodie bags as Valentine's Day / Galentine's Day / Singles Awareness Day gifts.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE MERINGUES
Meringues are one of the easiest things to bake and can look like way more impressive than they actually are. They're like the laid-back, low maintenance cousins of macarons with way less work and tears.
All you need to make chocolate meringues are egg whites, white granulated sugar, and cocoa powder. Only 3 ingredients! Easy peasy.
You'll also need a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Trust me - you do not want to try whisking egg whites by hand. I've tried. I ended up with sore arms and it never actually reached stiff peaks. Never again. An electric mixer makes this whole meringue process super easy.
INCORPORATING THE SUGAR WITH EGG WHITES
It's important to add the sugar to the meringue slowly and make sure it has enough time to dissolve into the egg whites fully. If there are large chunks of sugar in the final meringue, they can tend to "weep" while baking. In other words, they may form beads of melted sugar and you don't want that. I like to count about 15-20 seconds between each spoonful of sugar to give it enough time to combine. In the end, rub a bit of meringue between your index finger and thumb and it should feel silky smooth with no graininess.
Another option is to heat the sugar in the oven before adding it spoonful at a time to the egg whites. To do this, pour the sugar onto a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into a preheated 400F oven for about 5 minutes or until the edges of the sugar just start to melt. Don't take your eyes off it or the sugar can burn! Then take it out of the oven and add it into the egg whites as per the recipe, one spoonful at a time. Make sure you turn the oven temperature back down to 200F before baking the meringues. Warm sugar tends to dissolve better into the meringue but this step is not super necessary. I've done it both ways and found that heating the sugar is better but the difference is minor.
BAKING TIME AND TEMPERATURE
The one special step with making meringues is the baking time and temperature. Meringues need to bake low and slow. These chocolate meringues need a low temperature of 200F and a long bake time of about 45 mins to 60 mins for larger meringues. At the end of the bake time, turn off the oven and crack the oven door open a bit and allow the meringues to sit inside the warm oven to slowly cool. If they cool too fast (aka you take them out of the oven straight away and cool them on the counter), they might form cracks while they're cooling.
HOW TO PIPE HEART-SHAPED MERINGUES
These cute little heart-shaped chocolate meringues all come down to the piping. Start with a large open star piping tip, preferably one with many points, like a Wilton 6B or 8B. Essentially, you will pipe the two halves of a heart separately.
Start the first half by holding the piping tip at a 45 degree angle to the parchment paper. Squeeze out a blob of your desired size and gently pull the tip down while pushing the piping tip to end up at 90 degrees or perpendicular to the parchment to create a streak. Release pressure at the end and do a slight flick to create a pointed tail.
For the second half, do the same thing but start piping about ¼" to ½" next to the first half. Angle the piping tip slightly so that the tail will end at the same point as the first tail. If you have a gap, just gently press the meringue together at the tip of the tail.
Do a few practice runs and if they don't turn out just scoop it back to the piping bag or bake them as scraps and eat them yourself (I vote for this way). If it helps, trace a heart-shaped cookie cutter onto the back of the parchment paper and use that as a guideline when piping.
Heart-Shaped Chocolate Meringues
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 60 g egg whites (about 2 large egg whites), room temperature
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- sprinkles, mine are from Sweetapolita
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites with an handheld electric mixer or stand mixer on low-medium speed until it becomes frothy like cappuccino foam and you start to see faint "trails" in the meringue created by the mixer.
- Add granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time while continually mixing on medium speed. Ensure sugar is dissolved between each addition, about 10-15 seconds.
- When all the sugar has been added, whisk on high speed until meringue reaches stiff peaks and feels silky smooth when rubbed between your fingers.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder on top of the meringue and fold in with a rubber spatula until combined.
- Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip.
- Put a dab of meringue under each corner of the parchment paper to prevent it from sliding around while piping.
- With the piping tip at a 45 degree angle to the baking sheet, squeeze out a blob of meringue. Slowly release pressure when the blob is your desired size and pull away from the blob while angling the piping tip to be 90 degrees to the baking sheet to make the "tail" of the heart.
- Repeat with the other half of the heart by starting the blob half and inch beside the first blob and ending the tail by joining it with the first tail.
- Sprinkle meringue hearts with sprinkles.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until meringues can be lifted off parchment paper cleanly and meringues are not sticky to the touch.
- Turn off the oven and leave meringues inside with the oven door slightly opened until completely cooled.
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