These dainty chocolate meringues can be made any time of year, pairing nicely with fresh berries in summertime and citrus fruit in winter. JR Ryall, executive pastry chef at County Cork, Ireland’s Ballymaloe House, likes to sandwich the airy cookies around a bittersweet chocolate cream filling to balance the sweetness of the meringue. Use a good-quality dark (semisweet) chocolate with 75 percent cocoa solids, which will give the cream a nice depth of flavor. Rolling the sandwiches in candied coconut adds to their playful appearance. Be sure to use finely ground, unsweetened desiccated coconut, which is sometimes also labeled “macaroon coconut”. The meringues and candied coconut may be made and stored separately in dry, airtight containers for up to a week ahead of time. Make the chocolate cream and assemble the sandwiches immediately before serving.
This recipe is adapted from Ballymaloe Desserts by JR Ryall (Phaidon 2022).
For the meringue:
- 2 extra-large egg whites
- ¾ cup (4 oz.) confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
For the candied coconut:
- 1⁄3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. (3 oz.) superfine sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (3¾ oz.) desiccated coconut
For the chocolate cream:
- 1½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (⅓ cup)
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, divided, plus extra to serve
- Confectioners sugar, for dusting