The result is this recipe for Little Chocolate Clouds,which I make every spring and throughout the summer. These simple chocolate meringues are easy to whip up and bake. They are bursting with chocolate flavor, yet they're very light and have the added bonus of protein, thanks to the egg whites.
My husband (and partner in crime-writing) loves these sweet, little morsels. He describes them as "little chocolate cotton candies," which perfectly captures their melt-in-your mouth appeal, especially after you soften their crunchy exteriors by dipping them into a cup of warm coffee or tea.
The only tricky technique in making this simple recipe is whipping up the egg whites...
To watch a quick video tutorial on how to whip egg whites properly, click on the little white arrow in the window below.
If you don't see a video above, watch the video on YouTube by clicking here.
"I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee..." ~ Carly Simon
Little Chocolate Clouds
You can serve these little clouds as a light, after-dinner treat or eat them as a satisfying coffee break snack. You can even float one in a hot coffee or espresso. It will melt into the liquid, giving you a lovely hint of mocha in your cup...
To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.
Cleo Coyle's Little Chocolate Clouds Makes 24 to 30 cookies, depending on size
4 egg whites (room temperature)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (to stabilize the egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
Optional decorations: chocolate sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chopped nuts
Step 1 – Before You Begin: First preheat the oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Some notes to help you get the best results here: Start with a mixing bowl that is glass, metal, or ceramic. The bowl must be free of grease for your egg whites to whip up properly. (Grease clings to plastic bowls, which is why you should not use plastic.) Also, for best results, your egg whites should be room temperature. I simply set my cold eggs in a bowl of warm tap water for 2 to 3 minutes before cracking.
Step 2 – Whip Egg Whites: Place egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt into bowl. Using an electric mixer or handheld whisk, begin to whip the whites. When you see soft peaks begin to form (see "soft peaks" photo below), continue beating while slowly sprinkling in the sugar. When the egg whites have become stiff and glossy (see "stiff and glossy" photo below), stop whipping. Sift the cocoa over the egg whites and gently fold into the mix. The whites will deflate a little, but that’s okay.
(Below) Egg Whites Beaten into "Soft Peaks"
(Below) Sugar Slowly Added and
Egg Whites Beaten Until "Stiff and Glossy"
Sifting in the Unsweetened Cocoa
Folding in the Unsweetened Cocoa
Step 3 – Form Little Chocolate Clouds: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make rustic little chocolate clouds by dropping batter by heaping teaspoons onto the paper. As a fun option and to create variety, try sprinkling some with finely chopped nuts, others with shredded coconut, chocolate sprinkles, or a few mini chocolate chips.
Step 4 – Bake in the preheated (300° F.) oven for about 25 to 35 minutes. Meringues should be dry and firm on the outside (not hard just firm) and still gooey in the center. Remove from oven and carefully slide the parchment paper off the hot pan and onto a rack to cool. Note: Warm meringues will stick to the parchment paper. But as they cool, they will harden. Then you can easily lift them free and…eat with joy!