Whenever I visit my parents, I bake. Even if it isn’t super convenient. Even if we’re all dieting. For whatever reason, when I get in their kitchen (which isn’t even my childhood kitchen–the room was a laundry room when I lived here, and my cousin’s bedroom before that) I get the itch. Maybe because there are other hands to hold the children. Maybe because I want to feed my family. And maybe, just a little, because I want to show off and have my parents ooh and ahh over my skills.
Of course, they don’t always ooh and ahh. This is partially because I experiment. Either I try recipes I’ve never made before, or I make them up on the fly, or a little of both. I’m a renegade that way. Baking is a love and a challenge for me because my creative brain wants to overtake my technical brain in ways that don’t always work out in the oven. Most bakers will tell you STICK TO A RECIPE. I like to make mine up. But I also like to think I have enough technical know-how that I’m qualified to do so. This recipe, I think, is proof that I do. My dad says they’re like cotton candy with chocolate inside. My mom says they’re like eating sweet air. My brother said they’re weird, but you know brothers.
Chocolate Chunk Meringues
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
a moderate pinch of cream of tartar (put your fingers in that jar and literally pinch)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 bar 70% cocoa dark chocolate (I used Lindt), finely chopped (with maybe a few larger chunks just for fun)
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy. Add one third cup of the sugar and whisk on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add the rest of the sugar about a tablespoon at a time, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold in your chocolate (the egg whites should encase the chocolate–start with about half the chocolate and add the rest in bits, as your egg whites might be slightly bigger or smaller than mine, and you might get more or less air into them). Using two spoons, spoon one- to two-inch globs onto your baking sheets. Bake at 325 for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are firm but still white and they feel light and hollow. Cool completely. Enjoy.