Vanilla Meringues with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Life doesn’t get much sweeter than this simple but sublime treat of dark chocolate ganache sandwiched between airy vanilla meringue cookies. Created by baker and blogger Tiffany Howard, these little gems will be popular at cookie exchanges and also make lovely hostess gifts, guaranteeing you a repeat invitation.
For the meringues:
- Fresh lemon juice or vinegar as needed
- 3 egg whites
- 7 Tbs. (3 1/2 oz./105 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder (optional)
For the dark chocolate ganache:
- 1/4 lb. (125 g) bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa, finely chopped)
- 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) heavy cream
- 2 1/2 Tbs. light corn syrup
- 2 Tbs. crème fraîche or sour cream
Cocoa powder for dusting (optional)
Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 200°F (95°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
To make the meringues, wipe the whisk attachment and the metal bowl of an electric mixer with lemon juice or vinegar to remove any trace of grease. Fill a saucepan with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and heat until simmering.
In the mixer bowl, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar and place over the saucepan. The bowl should fit snugly but should not touch the water to prevent the eggs from cooking. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until a candy or instant-read thermometer registers 115°F (46°C), or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
Remove from the heat and attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until the meringue is fluffy and the bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla bean powder.
Place large spoonfuls of meringue in rough circles about 3/4 inch (2 cm) high and 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the bottoms sound hollow when you tap them, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar (you can prop it open with a wooden spoon). Let the meringues cool in the oven for about 30 minutes; this will help keep them from cooling too quickly, which causes cracking.
Meanwhile, make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and corn syrup and bring just to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, then gently stir until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche and refrigerate until the ganache is thick enough to spread, about 1 hour.
To assemble, spread a spoonful of the ganache on the flat side of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side down, and gently press together. Refrigerate until the ganache is set, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle the cookies with cocoa powder. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes about 7 sandwich cookies.
Recipe by Tiffany Howard, creator of the blog Oh Honey Bakes