Friday, November 21, 2014

Chocolate Meringue Swirls with a Chocolate Sauce via A KITCHEN IN FRANCE - Recipe and Cookbook Review

Pin It Now!

OH BOY... Something new!

Well, for me at least.  I probably see dozens of different desserts a day and while appealing all, most are just a variation on themes.

These on the other hand... Well, a dramatic presentation, a delicious sounding name and a unique flavor all add up to a wonderful dessert experience!

They are indeed about as big as your fist, 4-5 inches wide and 2-3 inches tall!  But despite the size of the meringue, they are actually pretty light.  The basic ingredient is a single egg white in each one, packed with as much sugar as it can hold and whipped until stiff.  The taste and texture is very similar to a marshmallow.

Just BIG, DRAMATIC, DELICIOUS and... Something NEW!

This is Day six of my dinner party review...

The party was part of a review of of "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse " by Mimi Thorisson.... 6 Recipes from the book,  8 Friends and family...

First, my disclaimer... I received this book FREE! courtesy of BLOGGING FOR BOOKS.  I was sent the book in exchange for this review.  The book was theirs, but the opinions are mine.

I posted my first course for a dinner party for 8 of my family and friends; Her Onion Tart recipe... (LOVED IT!).

I served the tart as my Sandwich in a Soup and Sandwich course.  I made Mimi's
PUMPKIN SOUP as the soup course.

Next came my Appetizer course... Her title for the recipe is "Gambas Flambees with Pastis" which translates to Prawns (or Shrimp) Flamed with an Anise flavored Liquor.  Worked FANTASTIC, stunning presentation, easy, fast and no First Responders needed to help.

My next course was the "Main Course", The meat I selected was a basic Roasted Chicken... Well, much more than basic as Mimi's Roast Chicken with Creme Fraiche and Herbs was FANTASTIC ..the side dish I posted of a Butternut Squash Gratin Paired PERFECT!

The short version of my longer review of the book (see this post) is that  the book is astounding.  Stunningly beautiful photographs, wonderful descriptions of her family and life in the French countryside and of course wonderful recipes.  I made 6 dishes for my party and each came out as expected, and wonderful!

It is a bit sad, as I file Mimi's astounding book away.  I have hundreds of cookbooks.  So many that I have separate shelves for BBQ and Grilling, Italian, Restaurant and celebrity books, Southern (more of a comfort shelf with casseroles and crock pot books) and a shelf for basics (got to be able to find that "Joy of Cooking when I need it).  But  also have a shelf for books that are especially personal.  You know the ones you like to look at, the ones you use the recipes from often, the ones that inspire... The pretty ones.

Mimi.s "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse " deserves a spot on that shelf.  I have several more recipes marked to try and even more that are crying out for me to personalize with a few of my one touches.  I can not thank Mimi enough for sharing such a personal bit of her life, so many delicious dishes that I can tell she worked to perfect before going to press and, for me at least, the perfect cookbook... Could not recommend this enough.

If you follow this link you will get to the page that offers a FREE preview (and a discount on the final price) of several pages from her book.  Take a look.  Wonderful accessible recipes, STUNNING photos and a sweet dreamy story you can get lost in... Maybe you will decide that this book deserves a spot on your "Special" shelf as well!

OK... Here's what I did...

Chocolate Meringue Swirls with a Chocolate Sauce

  • 6 Large Eggs, WHITES ONLY, at room temperature
  • a Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS Cornstarch
  • 1-2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 TBS Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Ounce Bittersweet Chocolate, broken into several pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a stand mixer, whip the egg whites in a clean bowl (make sure the bowl is free of any trace of oil) to medium peaks. Add the salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch and whip for 30 seconds. Finally, add the sugar 2 TBS at a time and whip until the whites are stiff and glossy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the stand mixer. Add the cocoa powder and FOLD gently only 5-6 times. You want the rustic look of the cocoa ribbons.
  4. You want to make 6 Meringues, each about 4 to 5 inches wide and 2-1/2 inches tall. You want to create nice swirls. With the help of two large spoons, spoon the egg whites onto the baking sheet. Twirl one of the spoons around and finish each meringue with a spiky peak. Dust with additional cocoa powder and use a small fork to gently make a few more swirls.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Switch off the oven and leave the door closed for an additional 15 minutes. Resist the urge to open the door to take a peak. That releases all of the heat.
  6. Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce. In a small saucepan, mix the water, cocoa powder and corn syrup and heat to a gentle boil.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Let cool for an hour before serving.
  8. Place each meringue on a serving plate and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Listen to the Oohs and Aahs and ENJOY!

Here's my Menu for the night...

Pumpkin Soup
With an Onion Tart

Gambas Flambees
With Pastis

Roast Chicken With
Creme Fraiche and Herbs
Served with a
Butternut Squash

PLUS and AMAZING Spectacular
Chocolate Meringue Swirl

As I said, Each of the 6 recipes I tried from the book worked and worked spectacularly.  I have been doing a lot of non-challenging catering dishes lately.  It was fun and exciting to whip these dishes up and serve this menu to my friends.  All well received, all went as best as I could have imagined and I could not recommend this book highly enough.

Beautiful enough to be a table top book, inspiring enough to get lost in on a rainy Sunday afternoon...

And wonderful accessible workable recipes!

And one last disclaimer...
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."  But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!

So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook COOKIE, BARS and TRUFFLES"!!!

Old school like classic criss cross peanut butter to new takes on interesting recipes like a beautiful Red Velvet with the cream cheese mixed inside the cookie, accented with white chocolate chips!  Even a Pineapple Cream Cheese EASY Bar with only 5 ingredients! 
Stop on by, there's always a new cookie in the cookie jar!


Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

No comments:

Post a Comment