Created by Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy, for Almond Board of CaliforniaApril 22, 2012
What could be better for Valentine's Day than a kiss from your sweetie? Perhaps a homemade almond meringue kiss! Easy to make, and even easier to eat, these crunchy meringues flavoured with almond extract and almond flour, then dipped in dark chocolate and chopped almonds, are a treat you'll love...any time of the year!
Position two racks in the centre of oven and preheat oven to 175°F (80°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whip attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Reduce speed of mixer and add cream of tartar and almond extract and continue to mix.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring sugar, water, and honey to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until mixture reaches 238°F (115°C) on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from stovetop and slowly pour into mixer while still running. Once entire sugar mixture has been added, increase speed of mixer to high and whip for 6 to 8 minutes, or until thick, glossy and cooled to room temperature. Remove from mixture, add almond flour, and gently fold until evenly combined.
Transfer mixture to a large piping bag, fitted with a 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) round pastry tip (Ateco #806 recommended), and pipe into large kisses, about 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Bake for 6 hours to overnight, or until meringues have completely dried through but have not browned. Let cool to room temperature.
Spread chopped almonds onto a large plate; set aside. Over a double boiler, gently melt chocolate chips. Add canola oil and stir until combined.
Transfer mixture to a shallow bowl and dip bases of meringues into chocolate. Gently shake each meringue over the bowl of chocolate after dipped to remove excess chocolate and set in chopped almonds. Transfer meringues to a baking sheet to set chocolate before serving, about 20 minutes.
Per meringue kiss: 29.3 calories, 1.2 g fat (0.4 g saturated fat), 0.4 g protein, 4.6 g carbohydrates, 2.4 mg sodium