Food, Home & Lifestyle

Chocolate Cake Accent: Swiss Mini Meringues

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 10:43 min

Learn Chef Dominique’s method for making light and airy meringue and his technique for piping wonderfully crunchy meringue kisses. These mini meringues will be used in Chapter 12: Chocolate Cake Finishing.

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Topics include: Mini Me's


Chef Dominique covers his chocolate cake with dozens of tiny meringue drops called “Mini Me’s,” which transform the cake into a spiky, fantastical creation. It’s an optional addition once the cake is glazed and set, but one that adds texture and dimension to an already stunning work of pastry art. Tips for Making Perfect Meringue - Don’t worry about over-whipping the meringue. It won’t affect the final outcome of the product, so better to over-whip than under-whip. - When making meringue, it is very important to use clean tools. If a drop of oil (or other fat) or egg yolk gets into the egg whites, the meringue will not whip properly. - When making Mini Me’s, it is important to work with the meringue while it is slightly warm to the touch or else it will be too thick to pipe evenly. - Use the meringue right away. Don’t store it in the fridge, because the sugar will start to separate and seep and that fluffy texture will start to deflate. - Decorate or pipe your tart/cake immediately. You can also gently brown the surface of the meringue with a small hand-held butane torch to give it a caramelized finish (be sure to ignite the torch away from the meringue first, so the meringue doesn’t end up tasting like butane). - The more you work the meringue, the looser its structure becomes. When it bakes, a loose meringue will become flat and dense. It is very important to be as gentle as possible at this stage. Recipe: Chef Dominique Ansel’s Swiss Meringue Recipe Ingredients - 266g (2 1⁄4 cups) confectioners’ sugar - 120g (4 each) large egg whites Equipment - Whisk - Spatula - Stand mixer or hand mixer with whisk attachment - Candy thermometer - Piping bag - Plain #804 tip (3/8-inch/1 cm diameter) - Sheet tray - Parchment paper - Optional: Two 4-inch diameter by 2-inch tall ring molds (if making baked meringue base for pavlovas) Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C) for conventional or 175°F (80°C) for convection. 2. Fill a medium pot with about 3 inches (about 7.5 cm) of water and bring to a simmer. 3. In a medium heat-proof bowl (or the metal bowl of a stand mixer), stir together the confectioners’ sugar and egg whites. 4. Place the bowl on top of the pot of simmering water. The bowl should sit on the rim of the pot, well above the water. 5. Whisk the egg white mixture constantly as it warms. When it reaches 113°F (45°C) and feels hot to the touch and the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the bowl from the pot. 6. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites on high speed. As they whip, the egg whites will double in volume, thicken, and cool. 7. When finished, the meringue will be very fluffy, with a consistency similar to shaving foam, and hold a medium-soft peak. This should take about 5 minutes, depending on your mixer. How to Make Chef Dominique Ansel’s Mini Me’s (Swiss Meringues): The style of meringue Chef Dominique makes for the meringue dro...

About the Instructor

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.

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Dominique Ansel

James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.

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