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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops

Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pop

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops



Another Pop?

The idea didn't start that way. I honestly wanted to focus on something simple this week, and a Chocolate Meringue made from Egg Whites, Sugar and Cocoa Powder fit the bill. And yet, when I woke the next morning to make the Chocolate Meringues, I simply had to do more. 

Why not fill the Meringues with Chocolate Chips? It was a start, but we could do better. So Roasted Peanuts joined the party (for those who may not be aware, whenever you combine Chocolate and Peanuts, it results in a party... fact!) As for the addition of Dried Cherries, I'm trying to introduce good eating habits to my infant son, so there had to be fruit (hey, it could have been M&M's!)

The Lollipop format was just another way to have fun. These treats can just as easily be made by sandwiching two Meringues together with some Chocolate. But, come on... Meringue Pops!

This recipe involves making a French Meringue and tempering Chocolate. There's nothing terribly difficult about either process, but if you're new to the techniques, you may want to read the older posts for a more detailed overview.

Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops
Meringue Pops? Yes, it's happening.

But the Lollipop format is far from a requirement. These Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringues can just as easily be made without the sticks... Meringues sandwiches held together with melted Chocolate.


Chopped Cherries, Roasted Peanuts and Chocolate Chips
Begin by chopping and combining the Roasted Peanuts, Dried Cherries and Chocolate Chips. This tasty trio will serve as the filling to the Chocolate Meringues.

Sheet Tray of Portioned Cherries, Roasted Peanuts and Chocolate Chips
Divide the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Mixture into 24 small portions. Each portion will be about 1/2 tablespoon (or 7.5g for those who like to be precise).

Place the portions on parchment or silpat lined sheet trays leaving approximately 3" of space between portions.

Portioned Cherries, Roasted Peanuts and Chocolate Chips
Each portion should be placed in a thin layer approximately 2" wide. If the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture is placed in a tall mound, then it will not stick as well to the Chocolate Meringue when piped and baked.

Piped Chocolate Meringues
With the portioned filling ready to go, it's time to make the Chocolate Meringue.

The Chocolate Meringue is made from a French Meringue whipped to stiff peaks into which a sifted mixture of Powdered Sugar and Cocoa Powder is gently folded.

The Chocolate Meringue is then piped on top of the portioned filling in circles approximately 3" wide. The style of the piping is completely up to you, but circles made with a #3 star tip work well. The important thing is to completely cover the portioned filling, sealing it into the Chocolate Meringue. Piping at a 90 degree angle from 1/2" above the sheet tray is recommended.

Baked Chocolate Meringue Discs
The Chocolate Meringues are not so much baked as they are dehydrated. The entire process can take up to a couple of hours in a 170 degree Fahrenheit (77 degree Celsius) oven. The Chocolate Meringues are done when they are crispy all the way through. However, in the hot oven, the fully baked Chocolate Meringues may still seem slightly soft. Remove a test Chocolate Meringue from the oven and let it cool to get an accurate sense of doneness.

If your oven cannot be set as low as 170 degrees Fahrenheit, then set it to the lowest possible setting and closely monitor the Chocolate Meringues for doneness. Also consider regulating the heat by keeping the oven door slightly ajar.

Chocolate Center to Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops
When the Chocolate Meringues are fully baked, remove the sheet trays from the oven and allow the Chocolate Meringues to cool completely. Once they are completely cool, transfer the Chocolate Meringues to a cooling rack placed bottom side up (i.e. the side that reveals the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture). Sort through the Chocolate Meringues to create 12 pairs that match best in size.

Gently melt the Chocolate over a double boiler (i.e. temper the Chocolate). Pour a small spoonful of melted Chocolate in the center of one of each pair of Chocolate Meringues for a total of 12. Immediately lay a Lollipop Stick in the spoonful of melted Chocolate at the center of the Chocolate Meringue. Spin the Lollipop Stick so that it is completely coated in the melted Chocolate. Place the other Chocolate Meringue pair on top of the first Chocolate Meringue, sandwiching the Lollipop Stick between the two Chocolate Meringues.

Flip over the sandwiched Chocolate Meringues (i.e. the Chocolate Meringue onto which the melted Chocolate was spooned should now be on top). This will allow the melted Chocolate to better seal the two Chocolate Meringues together and set the Lollipop Stick in place. If you have any remaining melted Chocolate, drizzle it over the top of the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops, and then set them aside for the Chocolate to cool and set.

If you find that the Chocolate is not in temper and that it will not set firm, the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops can be placed in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes to help the Chocolate set. However, untempered Chocolate may later become soft and sticky again at room temperature. Do not store the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops in the refrigerator for prolonged periods as the moisture may soften the Meringue. 

Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops
Any baked Meringue will keep indefinitely in cool and dry weather, but they will quickly soften in humid or damp environments. To prolong the shelf life of the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops, store them at room temperature on a sheet tray wrapped in plastic. Never refrigerate Meringues.




- The Recipe -




Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops:


Yield: 12 Meringue Pops


Ingredients:

  • Miniature Chocolate Chips: 60g (2 oz)
  • Roasted Peanuts: 60g (2 oz)
  • Dried Cherries: 60g (2 oz)


  • Powdered Sugar: 120g (1 Cup)
  • Cocoa Powder: 20g (~3 Tbls)


  • Egg Whites: 120g (4x)
  • Sugar: 120g (~2/3 Cup)


  • Chocolate, for tempering: 120g (4 oz)
  • Lollipop Sticks: 12x


Directions:

1. Finely chop the Roasted Peanuts and Dried Cherries. Place the chopped Roasted Peanuts and Dried Cherries in a bowl with the Miniature Chocolate Chips and stir until evenly distributed.

2. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper or silpats. Divide the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture into 24 portions (approximately 7g or 0.5 tablespoons per portion). Place 12 portions on each sheet tray in a thin circle approximately 2" wide. Leave approximately 3" of space between portions.

Chef's Note: Do not place the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture in a mound as it will not stick as well to the Chocolate Meringue when piped and baked.

3. Make a French Meringue with the Egg Whites and Sugar. As the French Meringue whips to stiff peaks, sift the Powdered Sugar and Cocoa Powder together. Once the French Meringue reaches stiff peaks, gently fold the Powdered Sugar and Cocoa Powder Mixture into the French Meringue in two additions being careful not to deflate the French Meringue.

4. Immediately transfer the Chocolate Meringue to a piping bag fitted with a decorative pastry tip of your choice. A #3 star tip works well. Hold the piping bag approximately 1/2" above the sheet tray at a 90 degree angle. Begin piping the Chocolate Meringue at the center of each portion of Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture. Pipe the Chocolate Meringue in tight circles until you form a disc that is approximately 3" wide and which completely covers and seals in the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture.

5. Place the sheet trays in the oven at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius). Bake the Chocolate Meringues until they are crispy the entire way through - approximately 90 to 120 minutes.

Chef's Note: If your oven cannot be set as low as 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius), place it to the lowest possible temperature and closely monitor the Chocolate Meringues for doneness. Consider keeping the oven door ajar to regulate the temperature. In the heat of the oven, the Chocolate Meringues may seem slightly soft even when they are fully baked. Remove a test Chocolate Meringue from the oven and let it cool to see if it is fully done.

6. When the Chocolate Meringues are fully baked, remove the sheet trays from the oven and allow the Chocolate Meringues to cool completely. Once they are completely cool, transfer the Chocolate Meringues to a cooling rack placed bottom side up (i.e. the side that reveals the Cherry, Peanut and Chocolate Chip Mixture)Sort through the Chocolate Meringues to create 12 pairs that match best in size.

7. Gently melt the Chocolate over a double boiler (i.e. temper the Chocolate). Pour a small spoonful of melted Chocolate in the center of one of each pair of Chocolate Meringues for a total of 12. Immediately lay a Lollipop Stick in the spoonful of melted Chocolate at the center of the Chocolate Meringue. Spin the Lollipop Stick so that it is completely coated in the melted Chocolate. Place the other Chocolate Meringue pair on top of the first Chocolate Meringue, sandwiching the Lollipop Stick between the two Chocolate Meringues.

Flip over the sandwiched Chocolate Meringues (i.e. the Chocolate Meringue onto which the melted Chocolate was spooned should now be on top). This will allow the melted Chocolate to better seal the two Chocolate Meringues together and set the Lollipop Stick in place. If you have any remaining melted Chocolate, drizzle it over the top of the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops, and then set them aside for the Chocolate to cool and set.

Chef's Note: Make sure to gently heat the Chocolate to keep it in temper so that it will set hard. If the melted Chocolate comes out of temper, you can briefly place the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops in the refrigerator to help set the Chocolate; however, the Chocolate may become soft and sticky at room temperature. Do not keep baked Meringues in the refrigerator for prolonged periods as the moisture will soften the Meringues.

Storage:
- Any baked Meringue will keep indefinitely in cool and dry weather, but they will quickly soften in humid or damp environments. To prolong the shelf life of the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Meringue Pops, store them at room temperature on a sheet tray wrapped in plastic. Never refrigerate Meringues.


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1 comment:

  1. Yummy! It’s looking very delicious. I love chocolate cakes. In all parties I hosted, always place order for a huge cake. Now going to celebrate my birthday at one of local party venues and would love to have a similar huge cake in the party.

    ReplyDelete