Cocoa Swirled Meringues (Meringhe variegate)


I often find myself planning recipes that only require the use of yolks so that I can have some egg whites to play with. As I type this I will concede that this may sound odd to many, but I cannot renounce who I am, a food nerd, really! How many times have you separated eggs, promising yourselves you will give the unused whites a new, worthy life, only to find them weeks later in the back of your fridge, a scary, ectoplasmic entity begging you to be put out of its misery! Here is my favourite thing to do with the protein-packed goodness: whip it, whip it and then whip it a bit more! With sugar, that is, and a little dusting of cocoa powder to turn them into a delectable treat to accompany your coffee or afternoon tea.


100 g (just over 1/3 cup) egg whites, at room temperature

pinch of salt flakes

75 g icing sugar (1/3 cup), sifted (icing sugar is the same as confectioner sugar or powdered sugar)

75 g (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste or the seeds of half vanilla bean

1 tablespoon cocoa powder


1. Preheat your oven to 100°C (212 F). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until frothy and very soft peaks start to form. I always do this do with hand-held electric beaters on low speed as it gets the job done in 90 seconds, with no sore wrist. But feel free to do it by hand if you missed a day at the gym and need to burn off some calories. Gradually increase the speed of your beaters (or your biceps) to medium and start adding the icing sugar then, slowly, the caster sugar. Keep beating for 1–2 minutes (or 5–6 minutes by hand) or until the egg whites are shiny, smooth and stiff.

3. Add the lemon juice or cream of tartar and gently fold it in with a metal spoon, taking care not to beat the air out of the meringue mixture. These few drops of acid will neutralise the eggy flavour that meringue can sometimes have, and will also keep them stable and preserve their crisp whiteness.

4. Add the vanilla and mix gently. Swirl the cocoa in.


5. Dollop teaspoons (or tablespoons, if you like them larger) of the mixture onto the baking tray, about 2 cm apart to allow for spreading. You can use a piping bag if you prefer, but I love a more whimsical, free-form meringue.

6. Gently place the tray in the oven and bake for 11/2–2 hours. If they start to colour, turn the heat down to 80°C (175 F). You know the meringues are cooked through when the base is touch-dry.


Cool at room temperature and enjoy as they are with coffee, gelato or, as my dad favours, a big dollop of sweetened whipped cream. The man is known for his sweet tooth …


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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Those are beautiful – they’ve made it on to my coffee Pinterest board. They just had to!

    1. Oh, thanks! That makes me most happy!

  2. These meringues look like a great dessert and you photos are beautiful.I like the addition of chocolate.
    I have found egg whites freeze very well and I save there for whwn I want to make a dessert or cookies, such as the Italian pignoli cookies.

    1. Thanks Jovina! I do love a crisp white meringues,but my kids always make me add cocoa, go figure!

  3. Pamela Green @ MyNewlywedCookingAdventures says:

    What a lovely recipe. I really like the dusting of cocoa…beautiful and yummy sounding!

    1. Thanks Pamela. They work just as well with cinnamon

  4. These are beautiful! I can never pass up on a meringue!

    1. Thanks Alessandra! How can anyone resist them?…

  5. I’m laughing because I have a whole thing of egg whites in the fridge as we speak! I *promised* myself that I was going to make a light and fluffy angel food cake, but of course that never happened. Your meringues look so pretty- I like the chocolate swirls too (and espresso!!!) xx

  6. jdahlen5958 says:

    I love your blog site and your recipes. I often make meringues because they are fat free and so much fun to make. Your pictures are so delightful I think I have to whip up a batch even tho it’s now 8:35 at night.
    Come to my blog – – and visit with me.
    Joan Dahlen

    1. It’s always meringue time!

  7. Su Drzewicka says:

    My absolute favourite! I used cinnamon as per your suggestion and they were sublime.

    1. Thank you! So happy they worked for you!

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