“The moment arrives at a different time for everyone, but at some point in February, those of us who live in cold-weather climates find that the novelty of winter has worn off. We lapse into an antagonistic relationship with the weather, cursing it under our breath and commiserating with strangers in supermarkets and trains. By the time this short month rolls around, 30 days have elapsed since the holidays, with at least another 30 to endure before reaching spring’s starting time.
At this time of year, its as though a significant other is away on a long sojourn and we are left pale and lonely in the void created by the absence. Much of this has to do with how much we miss the sun and everything it brings – the way it turns up the lights n the great
I found these beautiful words in “SEASONS cookbook” by Alfred Portale, while I was looking for an inspiration to bake something special for my dear husband. He loves to get up early in the morning when the house is still sleepy and dreamy, makes a cup of coffee and drinks it with a cookie or something sweet to start his day, while looking through the window to the lovely woods behind our house, watching the rising sun and purple morning skies. I made these sweet roses for him and choose the black currant jam, his favorite, to remind ourselves of the summer warmth and fragrant berry bushes in our garden. A simple gift from summer in February is a perfect way to express to someone how much he/she means to you.
Black Currant Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Filling
- For the meringues:
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons black currant jam (or other berry jam)
- 2 drops pink gel food coloring (optional)
- For the chocolate filling:
- 10 oz. dark chocolate 60% or 70%
- 1 cup heavy cream
To make the chocolate filling: Place the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream to simmering, and pour it over the chocolate, and let it stand for a few minutes. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth and well-combined. Cover, and set aside to cool completely. When the ganache has cooled and solidified, whip it on high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy and spreadable. The consistency should be similar to cake frosting.
To make the meringues: Preheat the oven to 170F. Whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually, and very slowly, add the sugar, while continuing to whip. The mixture should be very stiff and glossy. Place the jam and food coloring (if using) in a small bowl, and fold about a cup of the meringue mixture in. Transfer the mixture back into the meringue, and fold gently to combine. Using a pastry bag with Wilton 1M tip, pipe cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets, and bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are very dry and peel off the parchment easily. Cool them completely.
Pipe or spread about a tablespoon of the whipped chocolate over the back sides of half the meringues. Sandwich another meringue cookies on top. Keep in an airtight container.
If you like your meringues chewy inside then bake them only for 1 hour 15 minutes.