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side shot of Italian Hot Chocolate with Floating Meringue Kiss

Italian Hot Chocolate with Floating Meringue Kiss (Christmas Edition)

Makes 4 servings of hot chocolate and 35 bite-sized kisses. Meringue kisses could be prepared well in advance and stored in an airtight container.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: hot chocolate recipe, meringue cookie, meringue kisses, meringue recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For Meringue Kisses

  • 150g/5 egg whites
  • 300g/1 ½ cups fine/caster sugar
  • 1 tsbp cocoa powder for dusting

For Hot Chocolate

  • 500ml/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 100g/3.5 oz dark chocolate chopped

Instructions

For Meringue Kisses

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Spread sugar on your baking sheet and heat it in the oven for 5 minutes until the edges start to melt.
  • While your sugar is in the oven put your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (it should be grease-free) and start whisking first on slow and then on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Your sugar should be ready by now. Take it out of the oven and turn the temperature to 200F/100C.
  • With the motor of the stand mixer running start adding hot sugar to the egg whites 1 tbsp. at a time, avoid large caramelised clumps of sugar. Hot sugar dissolves much quicker in egg whites. Your goal is to have a smooth, free of grit mixture. Rub a small amount between your fingers to make sure sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Load the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe a bite-sized kisses using a plain tip or a star tip. It's your choice. Squeeze, pull and release. Don't worry if they are not perfect and uniform. Mine weren't!
  • Dust a tablespoon of cocoa over meringue kisses.
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on the humidity outside. As soon as you can peel them easily off parchment paper they are done.

For Hot Chocolate

  • Pour milk in a medium saucepan, add spices and vanilla.
  • Bring to a simmer slowly allowing milk to infuse with spices.
  • When milk is just about to simmer (you see first small bubbles) add chopped chocolate and stir with a wire whisk, continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted and well incorporated into milk. It will take about 2 minutes.
  • Immediately take off the heat and serve.
  • Pour in small cups and top with a meringue kiss.