another use for meringues

I was invited to a bbq this weekend and wanted to bring along a dessert… both the hostess and another friend are gluten intolerant – and I’ve already baked my gluten free brownies for both of them… it was time to try something different.

I pulled out my copy of the golden book of patisserie and discovered their chocolate cream dacquoise recipe… meringue disks and chocolate cream. I used some dark chocolate toblerones in my chocolate cream – adding a little twist to this recipe. Really simple but impressive looking… not only did it turn out great but everyone at the table enjoyed indulging in it!

Toblerone Cream Meringue

6 egg whites
1/8 tsp vanilla salt
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. ground almonds
1 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 300 F. Grab a couple of cookie trays and line with parchment paper. Now, trace 3 x 9-inch circles… I traced the circles with a black sharpy and then flipped the parchment paper over – you can still see the guide without having to worry about marking your baked goods ;0)

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with your electric mixer at medium speed until frothy. Then increase the speed and add the sugar – you want to get stiff peaks… beat until you can hold your bowl of meringue over your head and it doesn’t fall all out :0)

Put the ground almonds and cornstarch in the middle of the meringue and fold in with a large rubber spatula. Fill a LARGE Ziploc bag with the meringue… remember to zip it up completely (I didn’t and a decent dollop of meringue ended up on my kitchen floor). Cut the edge of one of the corners, and following your traced rounds fill in the circles completely. I actually had enough meringue to be able to make 4 disks – even though I only made 3.

Bake in the oven for about 75 minutes – you want them to be crisp. Remove from the heat and cool on the cookie trays for 10 minutes, then remove from the parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack.

Once your meringues are cooling on the wire rack start making your chocolate cream.

Toblerone Cream
8 oz dark toblerone (I used the mini ones)
1 1/2 c. butter, softened
6 egg yolks
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
2 tsp vanilla
slivered almonds

In a double boiler over simmering water melt your mini toblerones. Remove from heat and set aside.

Over medium heat and in a deep saucepan combine the brown sugar and water together. Now, don’t stir the mixture, just allow it to get to that boiling point (that’s why the saucepan needs to be deep, so that it doesn’t overflow). You want it to get to the point known as the “soft-ball” stage. Take a glass of COLD water and drop some of the syrup into the glass. It should come together once it hits the cold water, and when you remove it from the water you can still mold it. That’s when you know you have reached the right stage.

While the sugar syrup is boiling away on your stove top, beat your butter in a bowl until it becomes creamy.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until they thicken.

At this point your syrup should be ready, so remove it from the heat and slowly beat it into the yolks – do this slowly so that you can temper the yolks and prevent curdling. Once the syrup and the yolks are combined, add the butter, followed by the chocolate and vanilla. Beat until it cools down. You want the cream to thicken so that it is easily spreadable – while ensuring that it doesn’t run all over the plate.

Place one meringue disk on your serving platter and top with 1/3 of the chocolate cream. Repeat with the two other disks. I then topped the top layer of toblerone cream with slivered almonds. Place in the fridge to set. Allow to return to room temperature before you serve it.

We got 8 pieces out of this baby. It was really delightful!

*Note: I had about 3/4 c. of extra toblerone cream left over, so I packed it up and put it in the freezer. I’m sure I’ll be able to find another use for it soon…

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