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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.