Some recipes are easily tailored to your preferences and every whim. This week, I swirled homemade salted caramel sauce and melted dark chocolate into little clouds of meringue on one of those whims. It was an excellent choice. I'd like to introduce you to Salted Caramel and Chocolate Meringues!
Meringues aren't a dessert that you see all that often. At least they're not anything that I'd had very often until recently. Meringues are really growing on me, since the recipe is seriously simple (and seriously delicious). They can be any color you like, any shape you like, and the flavor options are pretty much endless. You can even decide whether you want them crisp on the edges and chewy in the center, or crisp all the way through.
I used homemade salted caramel sauce, but you can definitely use store-bought if you'd like. I cut the ingredient amounts way down in the recipe below so that you won't have a ton left over, but you still won't use all of it. I'm sure having some extra salted caramel sauce in the house won't be a problem. 😉
You know me, I put vanilla bean paste in everything, and these meringues are no exception. I love the flavor and it's cheaper than using whole vanilla beans. You can substitute with a vanilla bean or with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like. If you're looking to purchase vanilla bean paste and can't find it in your local grocery store (I never can), you can find it online [here].
I used a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons in volume) to portion out my meringues so they're more consistent in size and shape. Bonus: my hands stay clean, too! I really like the one that I use, which you can find [here]. I baked my meringues on silpats because they're reusable, nothing sticks to them, and the bottoms of the meringues brown more slowly (this is especially important if you want the meringues to bake long enough to dry completely). If you'd like to get some silpats for yourself, you can find them [here].
I plan on using this base recipe to make many more flavors of meringues in the future. Nutella meringues. Strawberry jam meringues. All the meringues. I can't wait to eat...er...share the recipes with all of you. 🙂
P.S. Check out the recipe notes for variations: Strawberry Jam Meringues and Chocolate Peanut Butter Meringues!
Other posts you may like:
Meringues recipe adapted from Floating Kitchen (link here). Salted caramel sauce recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod (link here).
Salted Caramel and Chocolate Meringues
Salted Caramel Sauce (see note):
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
- ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream
- ¾ teaspoon fleur de sel (or sea salt)
- 2 oz chocolate, melted
For Salted Caramel Sauce:
- Pour sugar into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk, and keep whisking, as sugar melts. It will clump and you'll think you're doing it all wrong. You're not. 🙂
- Once sugar is melted, stop whisking and let sugar cook until it is deep amber in color. *Carefully* add butter (mixture will bubble!) and whisk to incorporate.
- Remove mixture from the heat. Add cream (carefully!) and whisk until smooth. Add salt and stir to incorporate. Allow to cool before using.
- Preheat oven to 275F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats (see note) and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed with the whisk attachment until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat to stiff peaks.
- With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar and salt. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for five minutes. Mixture will be white, stiff, and glossy.
- Add vanilla bean paste and mix to combine. Make large dollops of meringue on the prepared baking sheets with a spoon or cookie scoop (see note), each about 3 tablespoons of meringue.
- Dollop about ¼ teaspoon each of the salted caramel sauce and melted chocolate on top of each meringue. Using a toothpick, swirl the caramel and chocolate into the meringue without flattening it out too much.
- Reduce oven temperature to 250F. Bake meringues for 50 minutes. Meringues will be crisp on the outside and chewy in the center. If you prefer meringues that are crisp throughout, you will need to bake for about 1 ½ hours. Allow meringues to cool completely on the pan before trying to move them.Enjoy!