Spring has sprung in New Jersey!
To celebrate, I made my first ice cream purchase of the year. Neapolitan was the lucky flavor. Boy loves Neapolitan.
Way back when- as in, beginning of second year of medical school- we instituted this policy of dinner on Tuesday nights. Boy would go off to the gym around 8.30 every Tuesday (as well as other days.. don’t want you to think he’s a one-time-a-week gymming kinda guy) and in an effort to see him more often (we weren’t REALLY dating yet) I offered to make him dinner and have it on the table by 6 so that his belly could rest up before exercising. And every Tuesday we did just that. Even when we became official. When was that, you ask? No one knows. We have no anniversary date. It sort of just.. happened.
But then third year sort of just happened and Tuesday night dinners fell apart. I had no time to cook (and I was not home by 6 half the time let alone have time to cook a meal by then). And he stopped going to the gym at the same time every week. So no more Tuesday night dinners. Until last week. I happened to have the afternoon off (yippee skippee!!) so I offered to make dinner and he agreed. I settled on these meringues by Dorie to accompany the ice cream I already knew I wanted to buy since the weather had warmed up a bit. (Also, I decided to make dessert POST-trip to the store and happened to have all these ingredients on hand. Sweet!) Big hit. The fluffy and crunchy meringues went really well with the different flavors of smooth, silky ice cream. We’ve been eating bowls of the stuff all week.
And have been running every other day.
Cocoa Almond Meringues
adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 30.
1 c confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/3 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c finely chopped bittersweet chocolate [I used 3 squares of a bittersweet Ghirardelli baking bar]
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Sift confectioners’ sugar, ground almonds and cocoa. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer or stand with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt until the whites are opaque. Increase to medium-high speed and continue to whip while adding the granulated sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Whip until stiff peaks form but they are still shiny/glossy. Beat in vanilla extract.
Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chopped chocolate, with a large rubber spatula. The whites will inevitably deflate a bit, but fold quickly and gently to minimize this.
Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheets spacing them about 2 inches apart. Dust the tops lightly with confectioners’ sugar.
Bake at 300F for 10 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, lower the temperature to 200F and bake for 1 hour more. Remove from oven and allow meringues to cool completely on the baking sheet. Carefully peel meringues off the parchment.
Con helado, por favor. (With ice cream, please.) Perfect springtime dessert!