This is an adaptation of a pavlova recipe that was given to me by my friend and colleague Ali Irvine to use in my Christmas 2011 blog feature. Ali’s Christmas berry pavlova recipe was such a success that I was inspired to adapt it into individual mini meringue ‘kisses’. I have always loved chocolate with raspberry and this combination, along with the addition of a little Amaretto liqueur, is a winner. To ensure perfect meringues each time, remember to rub the inside of the mixing bowl with the cut-side of a lemon before adding the egg whites, as the acid in the lemon will remove any oily residue from the bowl and will also help to stabilise the egg whites. Mini raspberry and chocolate meringue kisses
Makes about 16
4 free-range egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
2 1/2 tsps cornflour
1 x 125g punnet raspberries, crushed to a coarse pulp with a fork
175g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 cups (500ml) pure (whipping) cream
1 tbsp amaretto
Preheat the oven to 140 ̊C fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Wipe the inside of the bowl of an electric mixer with the cut-side of the lemon to remove any traces of oil. Add the egg whites and whisk until opaque and frothy. Add the caster sugar gradually, whisking on high speed until it has dissolved and the mixture is thick and glossy. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue moving at all. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar, then sieve the cornflour over the mixture and fold in gently until combined. Add half the crushed raspberries and stir gently to combine.
Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe 3–4 cm peaked rounds onto the prepared trays until the mixture is used up. Bake for 1 hour or until the bases of the meringues are firm, swapping the trays over after 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for 1 hour, then remove and cool completely.
While the meringues are cooling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat 1 cup (250 ml) cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before stirring to combine, add the Amaretto - if using. Place the chocolate ganache in the fridge for 30–40 minutes, or until thickened. Spoon half the thickened ganache into a piping bag.
Whip the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) cream until stiff peaks form, then mix with the remaining ganache and crushed raspberries. Transfer to a second piping bag.
To assemble the meringue kisses, pipe a layer of chocolate ganache onto the flat side of one meringue, followed by a layer of raspberry chocolate cream, then sandwich together with a second meringue. Repeat until all the meringues, ganache and raspberry cream have been used.
Place in the fridge to chill for 15–20 minutes, then serve.