Nothing “tastes like winter” quite like these Peppermint Mocha Meringues. We’ve even heard they taste like Christmas (thanks CS for the confirmation)!
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. white vinegar
½ tsp. pure peppermint extract
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. ground espresso powder
Preheat oven to 200F. Beat the egg whites with the wire whisk of an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the beaters start leaving a trail through the whites.
In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Slowly add the sugar mixture into the egg whites, beating on high speed until they hold stiff, glossy peaks.
Add the vinegar and peppermint extract and beat again. Sift the cocoa and espresso powder over the mixture and fold in the dry ingredients.
I used a large ice cream scoop to drop the meringues on to 2 large baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
Bake for 120 minutes, then leave oven door halfway open for another 30 minutes, allowing cookies to dry. Makes 18 large meringues.
The original recipe for these was a peppermint meringue, but the addition of espresso powder gives these a unique flavour that reminds you of keeping warm on a cold winter day. Feel free to top with whipped cream, fruit, chocolate sauce or any other add ons.
Science Fact of the Week:
Like me (Max) you may be asking, what on earth is cream of tartar. It is a byproduct of wine and grape juice processing (sadly no, it is not alcoholic). It is added to meringue to stabilize whipped egg whites since it is an acidic salt. Quoted from Slate.com “Added to the whites before whipping begins (typically at a ratio of ⅛ teaspoon per large egg white), the acidic powder lowers the pH of the albumen. This changes the electrical charge of the proteins, making them more sensitive to denaturation, so the egg whites promptly begin to foam. The cream of tartar also increases the mixture’s hydrogen ions, which prevent the protein molecules from bonding too tightly. With the proteins aligned but not jammed together too tightly, the structure keeps the water and air bubbles in place, and therefore is stronger and more secure.” Some people even suggest adding it to any recipe that uses egg whites. Now we know!