Mocha Meringues

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Yield: about 50 pastries,

    1¾ inches

    in diameter

Appears in

You might say the name Mocha Meringues is little misleading, as the mocha flavoring is not in the meringue component, but in the buttercream filling. However, this is part of the charm of these little pastries, as it allows you to change the flavor as needed to suit a special occasion or request, or to provide a greater variety if you are already offering several selections with coffee flavoring. If stored properly and under ideal conditions, the meringue shells can be made up to several weeks in advance, allowing you to fill and finish the pastries as required.

One of my favorite alterations is to flavor the buttercream with either orange liqueur or kirsch (use ⅓ to ½ cup/80 to 120 ml, depending on the strength). You can decorate the fruit-flavored meringues with chocolate curls, as described in the original recipe, or garnish the orange liqueur version with a marzipan orange and the kirsch-flavored pastries with a marzipan and chocolate decoration, as shown in Figure 11-18. Pipe the chocolate stems directly on the buttercream lines on top of each pastry, with the lines for the stems perpendicular to the buttercream lines. Regardless of which option you choose, these pastries easily enhance a typical assortment. They are a breath of fresh air compared to the usual rectangular, square, or piped selections.

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Ingredients

Method

  1. Place the meringue in a pastry bag with a No. 8 (16-mm) plain tip. Pipe it onto sheet pans lined with baking paper or Silpats in 1½-inch (3.7-cm) wide domes. Leave the tops as flat as possible as you pipe, without tails sticking up; in other words, the mounds should not be shaped like chocolate kisses.
  2. Bake at 210° to 220°F (99° to 104°C) until completely dry, 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Flavor the buttercream with the mocha paste or coffee reduction, mixing until soft and smooth. Place in a pastry bag with a No. 2 (4-mm) plain tip. Pipe a mound of buttercream the size of a cherry on top of half of the meringues. Invert the remaining meringues on top of the buttercream and press down lightly to level the tops.
  4. Spread enough buttercream on the sides of the stacked meringues to completely fill in the gap between them and make the sides straight. Roll the sides in the crushed almonds to coat. Using the same tip as before, cover the tops of the meringues with parallel lines of buttercream, piping back and forth in a zigzag pattern with the lines touching.
  5. Set 2 chocolate curls on top of each pastry, arranging them diagonally across the buttercream lines.
  6. Place 6 to 8 pastries next to each other. Place on top a strip of cardboard, ¾ inch (2 cm) wide, perpendicular to the curls. Sift powdered sugar over the pastries. Remove the cardboard and repeat with the remaining pastries. Mocha meringues can be stored at room temperature for 1 or 2 days under normal conditions. Refrigerate if the weather is very warm.