meringue help!

I've been trying to make chocolate meringues--when using granulated sugar and chopped chocolate, they weep and make a shell over a pool of chocolate goo, and then if I use confectioner's sugar, they turn out soggy. The oven I'm using can go up and down in humidity, and I've had it at 30-40 %--any ideas?

Mei Chin
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boulangere July 7, 2013
A chocolate meringue is a challenge, as you've discovered. Meringue is a nearly miraculous combination of egg whites and sugar in a proportion of 1 part egg whites to 2 parts sugar, by weight. The egg whites, developed properly, will hold up twice their weight in sugar; I never cease to marvel at how wonderful that is. That said, one of the prerequisites for making meringue is a mixing bowl and whip that are absolutely, completely, 100% free of any traces of fat of any kind. As miraculous as meringue is, the one thing that will ruin it is fat. The minutest tract of egg yolk in the whites or fat in the bowl will cause the long protein strands in the whites to literally slip apart. Once parted, they never rejoin. That is what has happened with your chocolate meringues. The best way to make a chocolate meringue is to, once the meringue is to the soft peak stage, sift some cocoa powder over the surface, then whip it in. The amount will depend upon how much meringue you have, but for a batch made in a standard 5-quart KitchenAid, I'd suggest no more than 1/4 cup. And then shift into your highest gear to get them piped out and into the oven before the meringue has a chance to realize that you've pulled a fast one on it.
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