Dark Chocolate Dipped Cardomom Meringue Bites

I made a lemongrass ginger ice cream base last night which then resulted in 8 left over egg whites. It may have been 11pm but darn it I wasn't going to waste those egg whites. I also didn't have a use for a large pavlova coming up so I tried my hand at the meringue bites and the addition of the cardamom made them seem really special.

I brought them into work to share the next day and they were a huge hit, the cardamom gave them something that made you want to never stop popping them into your mouth. It was hinted at not in your face and then the dark chocolate, well it's dark chocolate!

This makes a bunch! of meringue bites so feel free to make some larger ones or even cut the recipe in half. I suggest making them all though because it's hard to have just one or even share any and also then you can make my favorite ice cream (lemongrass ginger) with the yolks.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Cardomom Meringue Bites:

8 egg whites
a few pinches of salt
2 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbs cornstarch
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp cardamom
12-20 oz dark chocolate

preheat oven 275 degrees F, set one oven rack at lowest height and another in the middle, this helps keep the meringue tops from browning
1    in a small dish mix together the vanilla and white wine vinegar
2    in a large mixing bowl put in the egg whites and pinches of salt
3    start the mixer slowly and then put it up to medium speed and whisk until soft peaks form
4    then gradually add in the cornstarch and sugar
5    once incorporated turn the mixer up to medium-high for a few minutes
6    then add in the vanilla/vinegar and whisk the mixture on medium-high for about 5 minutes; until the mixture is glossy and can form peaks, beat in the cardamom until distributed
7    place parchment paper on a few baking sheets and then put the meringue mixture into a pastry bag and pipe small mounds of meringue onto the sheets, they can be quite close together as they don't spread as they bake
 8    once you piped out all the meringue place them in the oven and after about 15 minutes turn the oven down to 250 degrees F, don't open the oven to often
9     bake them for about 45 minutes to an hour, they shouldn't get brown and if they seem like they aren't done but are getting brown open the oven door to cool it down
10   let the meringue bites cool for 10 minutes then melt the chocolate in a double broiler
11   once it is all melted place a piece of parchement paper near the chocolate and individually dip the bottoms of each meringue into the chocolate, I swirled them around a bit to get some on the edges, use a fork the remove the meringue from the chocolate so you don't pull out the tip and place on parchment
12   repeat with the gazillion more meringues, let chocolate cool completely and pull of parchment paper to serve

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