Meringues with Cacao Nibs and Caramel Swirl

Sarah Kieffer Meringues
Recipe development and photography courtesy of Sarah Kieffer.

Meringues always look so impressive, with their swoops and swirls and crisp white exterior. Sarah Kieffer added cacao nibs to this crave-worthy recipe for crunch and swirled in some homemade Caramel for extra extravagance.

Meringues with Cacao Nibs and Caramel Swirl
 
Makes 24 meringues
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 grams) egg whites (from about 8 large eggs), room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup (40 grams) cacao nibs, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (180 grams) Caramel (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Position oven racks in upper- and lower-middle positions of oven. Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, using a rubber spatula, gently stir together sugar, egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until combined. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula and scraping sides of bowl, until sugar is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F (71°C), 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at low speed for 1 minute; slowly increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until glossy stiff peaks form and bowl is cool to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cacao nibs and vanilla, and beat at medium-low speed until combined.
  4. Using a spoon, scoop mixture, and place 12 mounds on each prepared pan. Using the back of a wet spoon, smooth top of each mound. Place 1 teaspoon (7.5 grams) Caramel on top of each mound; using the tip of a butter knife, swirl Caramel into top of mounds.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off, and leave meringues in oven with door closed for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Caramel
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons (76 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, very gently stir together sugar, ¼ cup (60 grams) water, and salt. Cover with lid, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until sugar is melted and mixture is clear, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until sugar is pale golden brown and a candy thermometer registers 300°F (150°C). Reduce heat, and cook until deep golden brown and a candy thermometer registers 325°F (170°C). Remove from heat, and add cream. (Mixture will bubble up vigorously, so be careful.) Add butter; add vanilla, and stir to combine. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

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