Dare to break away from Christmas pudding and embrace a delightful departure from tradition with our Chocolate Meringue Wreath. This innovative dessert is set to redefine your festive palate, offering a light and gluten-free alternative that steals the spotlight on Christmas Day or dazzles at a New Year’s Eve dinner party.
As we delve into the origins of meringues, it’s fascinating to note their inception in the kitchens of 17th-century Europe. Perfected over time, these delicate confections evolved into the airy delights we relish today. Now, our Chocolate Meringue Wreath pays homage to this history, offering a modern twist that marries the sweetness of meringue with the nutty allure of Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa Powder.
Crafted with the utmost care, our wreath achieves a perfect equilibrium by juxtaposing the indulgent richness of chocolate achieved from our Organic Cocoa Powder are balanced perfectly with the sharpness of red currants and candied oranges. with the bright notes of red currants and the zest of candied oranges. Your choice of chocolate is a personal touch – opt for our vegan chocolate chips in the form of Oat Mylk Chocolate Chips or embrace the intensity of our Dark Chocolate Chips, both proudly 100% plant-based.
Unleash your creativity as you embark on the journey of designing your own edible Chocolate Meringue Wreath this Christmas. Our foolproof recipe ensures a hassle-free experience, allowing you to customise toppings or transform it into a festive table centerpiece with the addition of a candle or battery-operated lights – a truly magical touch.
Ease into the holiday spirit by preparing components in advance and storing them in airtight containers. This time-saving feature makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer to get ahead with preparations, reserving the joy of assembly for just before serving. While this recipe promises simplicity and fun, do factor in ample time, as the meringue demands approximately 1.5 hours to achieve its perfect, crisp finish. Elevate your festive celebrations with this exquisite Chocolate Meringue Wreath – a delectable departure from the ordinary.
You will need
- FOR THE MERINGUE
- 6 large egg whites
- 280g caster sugar
- 40g Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa Powder, sieved
- 1 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
- FOR THE TOPPING
- 300ml double cream
- 150g Food Thoughts Oat Mylk Chocolate Chips
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium oranges (for Candied Oranges)
- Redcurrants and raspberries or other to taste
- 100g Food Thoughts Luxury Dark Chocolate Chips for holly leaves, drizzle and other decoration
- CANDIED ORANGES
- 300ml water
- 2-3 oranges (choose ones that have a lovely dark colour)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Extra granulated sugar to dust (optional)
- You will also need 2-3 disposable piping bags
Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2
FOR THE MERINGUES: Line a baking tray with parchment / baking paper and draw a 20cm circle as a guide for the wreath.
Separate the egg whites, place them in a clean bowl and whisk, with an electric whisk, until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar in stages, as you continue to whisk on a high speed.
Gently fold in the sieved cocoa powder and mix in the white wine vinegar / cornflour paste. Keep whisking until stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula, place the meringue in a disposable piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. Pipe the meringue in rings on the circle you drew previously, making the inner and outer sides slightly higher than the centre - this creates a groove where your topping will eventually sit. Leave a large void in the centre of the wreath. You can pipe any left over meringue into little meringue ‘kisses’ to adorn your wreath but make sure they are spaced well away from the wreath.
Put the meringue in the oven for 10 minutes and then drop the temperature to 130°C/250°F/Gas Mark 1/2. Bake for a further 1 hour or until the meringue no longer sticks to the greaseproof paper and feels firm (may take another 15 minutes).
Turn the oven off and leave the meringue to dry in the oven with the door closed until completely cool. You can keep the meringue in an airtight container until required.
FOR THE TOPPING: Melt the chocolate chips and leave to cool for 10 mins. Whip the cream until it holds its shape but do not over whip it, then gently stir through the melted chocolate and vanilla essence. You may wish to reserve a little melted chocolate to dip your meringue kisses and / or drizzle over the fruit later.
FINISHING: Fill the groove in the top of the meringue with chocolate cream. Place the candied oranges, red currants, raspberries and chocolate holly leaves around the top of the circle. You can also use a fork to drizzle left over chocolate over the fruit.
HOW TO MAKE CANDIED ORANGE SLICES: Boil the water and granulated sugar until the sugar has fully dissolved.
Slice the oranges and place them in the water. Gently simmer for 35 minutes, keeping them submerged (place a piece of greaseproof paper on top of the water).
Remove the oranges from the water and place on a wire rack to cool - they will be sticky. Coat them in granulated sugar to make them easier to handle. You can make these oranges well in advance and store them in a sealed container in the fridge until required.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE HOLLY LEAVES: Make a holly leaf template and trace around it onto some baking paper / parchment. Turn the parchment over so the ink doesn’t come in contact with your chocolate.
Place the Chocolate Chips in a disposable piping bag, submerge the end (with chocolate in it) into boiling water in a microwave proof jug. Microwave in 30 second increments until just melted, then ‘massage’ the last little lumps until completely smooth.
Snip the end of the bag off and pipe along the holly leaf templates. Slide the greaseproof paper with the piped leaves onto the back of a metal baking sheet and place in the fridge until cool. Gently peel the leaves from the paper. You can store these in a container in the fridge until required.