[On a chocolate cloud nine with Dorie Greenspan – Cocoa and almond meringues]

cocoa and almond meringue

Dorie Greenspan is one of those people you can only admire. Every single of her books exudes her passion for food and people.
She is what I would call a sweet person and if you’re lucky enough to own her latest book, you know what I mean. Indeed, Baking from my home to yours is Dorie’s collection of foolproof and delicious home-baking recipes, which she shares with us with her delightful tone.
When I left a comment on Dorie’s blog I was far from imagining what was about to happen. Not only she did answer but she also offered to meet me.
After a few emails and phone calls, we agreed to meet at Le Café Flore, which is according to an interview I’ve read one of Dorie’s favourite places in Paris.

Obviously I arrived late, having forgotten my wallet in my flat. This got me pretty tense – to say the least.
But as soon as I arrived to the Café and spotted Dorie, the smile she had on her face made me forget my worries. She gave me the sweetest hug ever and we started chatting.
I’m not going to hide from you the fact that we talked mainly about food. But what would you expect?

My internship at Pierre Hermé pastry shop – check.
Glorious pastries – check.
The dinner she had at Pierre’s the night before – check.
Pierre Hermé’s delicious ice creams – check.
Food blogs we love – check.
How popular the eGullet thread on Dorie’s Baking from my home to yours is – check.
Patrick‘s gorgeous pictures – check.
Dorie and Ivonne, Dorie and Brilynncheck.
Opening a bookshop – check.
The new It shop in Paris – check.

As I was sipping my green tea and listening to Dorie, I could not help but think how lucky I was to sit here and be given the best advices one could receive. Dorie is such an inspiration.
Sadly, all good things come to an end; well, at least in appearance. When I left Dorie, I was so cheerful I didn’t dare to take the tube and decided to walk home instead and enjoy sunny (yeah!) Paris.
I was sur un petit nuage avec des étoiles pleins les yeux. What a fantastic goûter!

As soon as I got home in the South of France (told you i was lucky ;), I rushed to the shelves where I keep all my cookbooks, opened Baking from my home to yours and decided to make the cocoa and almond meringues because they reminded me of puffy little chocolate clouds – just the right thing to fit my happy mood!

Meringues au chocolat et aux amandes
When I first got the book, my attention was immediately drawn by these yummy-looking meringues. I just loved they rough yet delicate appearance.
When I made them I could smell a lovely chocolaty perfume filling the house; this was so comforting, even though it’s summer and it’s probably 34°C outside. But then I love chocolate.

These meringues are delicious: a crispy outside hides a chewy nutty and very chocolaty goodness. What’s not to like, really?

Meringues au chocolat et aux amandes

makes 30

1 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 large eggs whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds (well ok I added this)

Preheat the oven to 150°C and line two baking sheets with silicon mats.
Sift the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder and set aside into a bowl.
Whip the egg whites and salt until opaques then add the caster sugar one spoonful at a time until the meringue is thick and glossy. It should be really firm.
Quickly fold in the cocoa mixture then the chocolate chuncks and chopped almonds.
Drop the meringues by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, dust with icing sugar and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C and bake for another hour. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow to cool; then peel off the meringues and store in a airtight metabox.