This meringue petits fours recipe is bursting with the flavour and crunch of freeze-dried fruit and cocoa nibs. We were amazed by how much flavour the passion fruit and raspberry powders can bring to a simple meringue and delighted by the added textures of the freeze-dried raspberries and cocoa nibs sprinkled on top. Meringue petits fours look incredibly enticing piled up on a three tier cake stand, or perhaps wrapped in cellophane as a lovely gift.
The swirl effect is incredibly simple to create – just use a toothpick on the ready piped meringues. Mix the freeze-dried fruit powders or cocoa powder with a little water to make a runny paste, dip in the toothpick and apply in swirl movements to the piped meringue. Top with a sprinkle of freeze-dried raspberries and cocoa nibs and they’re ready for the oven. Many meringue petit four recipes call for painting lines of food colouring down the inside of a piping bag to achieve the same effect but this method takes the hassle out of it.
Petits fours, the French term for sweet, after-dinner morsels, literally means ‘small ovens.’ They were first referred to as petits fours in the 18th century because huge ovens would be fired up to high temperatures for the main savoury dishes and it was as the oven cooled that more dainty sweet treats, such as meringues, were baked.
Recipe: Fruit & Cocoa Nib Meringue Petits Fours
Makes around 25-30 mini meringues of each flavour.
240g egg whites (around 8 large egg whites)
560g caster sugar
2 teaspoons corn flour
a splash of white wine vinegar
1 ½ tbsp natural passion fruit powder
1 ½ tbsp natural raspberry powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
10g dark couverture chocolate (70%)
3 tbsp cocoa nibs
3 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries, crushed
3 piping bags
1 star shaped nozzle
- Preheat the oven to 140°C, or 120°C for a fan oven, and line three baking trays with baking parchment.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a stand mixer or using an electric hand whisk.
- Add half of the sugar and continue to whisk.
- Add the remaining sugar little by little and finally add the cornflower and the splash of vinegar. The meringue should be firm, glossy and smooth.
- Separate the meringue into 3 equal parts in separate bowls.
- Mix the raspberry powder and passion fruit powder respectively with a splash of water to make a smooth runny paste. Mix the cocoa powder and melted chocolate together, also with a splash of water.
- Fold roughly a third of the raspberry and passion fruit paste respectively into two parts of meringue and pipe onto the baking trays using a star-shaped nozzle. Pipe the third part onto the baking tray as well – the chocolate will be added afterwards.
- Dip a toothpick into the raspberry, passion fruit and chocolate pastes and use to create a swirl effect following the natural grooves made by the star-shaped nozzle.
- Top the raspberry and chocolate meringues with crushed freeze-dried raspberries and cocoa nibs.
- Bake the meringues for 25 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 120°C, or 100°C for a fan oven, and bake for a further 25 minutes.