Mint Choc Chip Meringues
It surprises me how many people say their favourite ice cream flavour is mint choc chip. It’s not something you think would appeal to the masses: mint? dark chocolate? Especially with children. Being a classic ice cream flavour for so long, I think people eventually give into the suggestion when they’re offered it so often in ice cream parlours. Maybe it’s that alluring minty shade of green. Maybe it just tastes damn good.
Personally, I love the combination, though some people go beyond that and simply wouldn’t sink their scoop into any other flavour in favour of this pale green, chocolate-flecked minty delight. I’ve played around with this flavour for a few years. I went through a phase of making ice cream in 2014, during which I made a ‘Minted Oreo’ flavour, the dark chocolate hit provided by crushed Oreos, a bit like a minty cookies & cream. Very good.
Then I made these mint choc chip meringues, and I was aghast at how well they were received. Much like mint choc chip, they’ve been so popular that they’re now an illustrious treat in my repertoire. My fiancé thinks they could be the best thing I’ve made, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!
MINT CHOC CHIP MERINGUES
3 large Eggs (just the whites)
150g Caster Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 teaspoon vinegar (white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar/clear vinegar)
Few drops Green Gel Food Colouring
100g Dark Chocolate (50-70% cocoa)
Begin by preheating the oven to 140C.
Making meringues is easy stuff. Place the whites of 3 large eggs (save the yolks and make my Chocolate Créme Brûlée) into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until foamy, this should take 3-4 minutes.
When the egg whites are foamy like clouds, add a teaspoon of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Whisk them in briefly until just incorporated into the whites.
Take your 150g of caster sugar and whisk it into the whites, spooning it in a spoonful at a time. Dumping the sugar in all at once will squash the egg whites and make them collapse. Take your time adding it in, until the meringue becomes glossy-looking and stiff when you remove the whisk.
Once your meringue is stiff, add a few drops of green gel food colouring and whisk until evenly coloured. You want the colour to be a pale green, but do colour it a bit heavier as the colour will fade slightly when baking.
Chop 100g of dark chocolate into chunks and tip into the meringue. Stir with a spatula until fairly well-incorporated.
Take a sheet of baking paper and rest onto a baking tray. You can glue it in place and stop it sliding around by dotting some of the meringue mixture on the tray and sticking the baking paper to it. Using a large spoon, scoop out 8 large fluffy mounds of meringue onto the baking tray, an inch apart at least. Place them into the oven and bake for 1 hour on 140C. When finished, turn off the oven, leave the meringues in there and leave the oven door ajar so they can cool down slowly.
Once cool, tuck in! They’re best when they’re slightly warm from the oven and the chocolate chunks are still molten. Otherwise, they will comfortably last 2 days in a sealed container.