Life needs a little bitter with the sweet. With a full to-do list, this is a pictorial post of the deepest, darkest hot chocolate I’ve ever made. The meringues are optional and are like melt-in-your mouth/chewy stand-ins for marshmallows. They are a great way to use up any egg whites you have leftover when a recipe calls for yolks only—which is why I made them.
I do have one quick exciting update: Baby L is walking. She took her first few wobbly steps, with a great big proud smile on her face, December 7th. Now she has a new game of walking back and forth across the living room. The determined look on her face and that slouchy diaper is the sweetest thing. At almost a full year of being Mama, I have become accustomed to running on fumes—along with chocolate, of course. Happy Holidays!
- For the Meringues:
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp. white vinegar
- For the Hot Chocolate:
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ cup to ⅓ cup sugar (Start with the less amount and add an additional tablespoon of sugar if it is too bittersweet for your taste)
- ¼ cup water
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups milk
- .5 ounce square 72% cacao chocolate, very finely chopped or grated
- For the meringues: Preheat oven to 250°F. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 30 seconds before adding more. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk for a further 4 minutes or until stiff and glossy. Scrape down the side of the bowl, add the vinegar and whisk for 2 minutes more. Place the meringue into plastic bag and trim one of the corners to make a piping bag. Using a pencil, draw 2- to 3-inch circles onto a sheet of parchment paper. leaving an inch in between the circles. Invert the paper onto a baking sheet then pipe dots of meringue around the circle to form a ring. Bake for 45–50 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
- For the hot cocoa: In a small pot combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt. Heat over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently for a minute. Stir in the milk and heat, over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Stir in the square of chocolate. Taste and add additional sugar if desired.
- Ladle the hot chocolate into serving cups and top with the meringue ring.