While physical affection can help express loving sentiments, symbolic kisses – especially when they are made from tasty ingredients – can push displays of love that much further.
The Hershey’s chocolate company may have originated the chocolate teardrops that would go on to be called “kisses,” but this recipe for “Chocolate Meringue Kisses,” courtesy of the King Arthur Baking Company, is inspired by the well-known version. Made from airy meringue, these kisses are light and delicious, but also intensely chocolatey.
Chocolate Meringue Kisses
(Yields about 3 dozen meringues)
-2 large egg whites
-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
-Pinch of salt
– 1/2 cup Baker’s Special Sugar
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, Dutch-process or natural, sifted
-2 cups Valrhona Dark Chocolate or other good-quality dark chocolate, tempered (see below), for dipping
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Whip until soft peaks form.
3. Gradually add the sugar, whipping until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
4. Gently fold the sifted cocoa powder into the meringue until evenly incorporated.
5. Fit a piping bag with a 1/2-inch or larger round tip and spoon the meringue into the bag.
6. Position the tip and bag directly over the prepared pan, and pipe the meringues onto the parchment, leaving 1 inch of space between the meringues.
7. Place the meringues into the preheated oven, then turn the oven off.
8. Let the meringues sit in the oven (keep the door closed) overnight, or until the oven is completely cool.
9. Remove the meringues from the oven.
10. To temper the chocolate, place 11/2 cups of chocolate in a temperer or in a double boiler and melt until completely smooth.
11. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and gradually stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate.
12. Keep stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and warm to the touch; it should be between 86 F and 88 F.
13. To ensure that the chocolate is in temper, you can dip the tip of a knife into the bowl, and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. The chocolate should harden and become shiny.
14. Dip half of each meringue into the chocolate, allowing the excess chocolate to drip, and return them to the parchment-lined baking sheet to set.
Tip: If you don’t have access to piping bags and tips, you can drop the meringues by large teaspoonfuls onto the prepared pan.