Chocolate and Orange Meringue Tarts

It could have worked out. For days before I made it, I dreamt and searched for recipes which used meringues instead of pastry pie shells. No dice.

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Still I went ahead, I could see it, smell it, taste it. The individual elements were great – meringues, orange curd and chocolate ganache.

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But not the sum!

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On the day, I whisked the meringue and spread them in my ‘new’ loose-bottom tart tins, lightly greased to release the meringues once they were baked. And I say new tart tins in the sense that I had never used them even though I’d had them for a good nine months (enough time to bring forth…

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…a new child).

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I bought them in London and had planned to use them at Easter to make Banoffee pies but didn’t.

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I popped them in the oven and baked them till they were crisp.

IMG_6632While they cooled down, I made orange and vanilla curd.

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I love making jams and curds, especially since I consider curds one of those things I’ve conquered, unlike macarons. I squeezed out juice from a couple of oranges, licking the dripping liquid which snaked down my fingers, and then I ate the remnants of pips and flesh. With hands just dried but still fragrant with sweet citrus, I proceeded to add vanilla to the mix. It was at this point I happened upon two discoveries: the first , vanilla powder triggered the second – how to solve the problem of soft dried citrus rings, which I grind to make citrus dust.

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Once my curd was ready, my vanilla powder discovered and my soft orange wheel just microwaved on high for a few minutes, transforming them into crisp rings, I ground them up and proceeded to make a ganache of melted chocolate, flavoured with orange dust.

Then it was time to fill the meringue pie shell. I put the ganache, which had cooled down into the shell and then add some orange curd to it. It didn’t look that bad. It tasted not that bad too but there was nothing spectacular about it.

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Where I had hoped the meringue would stay crisp, it didn’t.

Where I longed for some synergy and cosmic balance between the ganache and the curd, I’m sad to say nothing of that sort occurred.

And this was definitely a case (unlike my blackberry cheesecake and jelly verrines) where the sum of the parts was much less than the whole…..

While I worked my way disappointingly through one, I put the rest in the Fridge. Which worsened matters. The shells softened beyond reason……and ended up in the bin.

Sadness for sure but there is a lot to be said for ambition – I still had the benefit of learning to make vanilla powder and knowing that dried citrus rings which had softened could be rescued by high microwave heat which returned them to their initial state of being.

Now I understand why meringues usually are toppings….rather than ‘basings’

Here are some gorgeous meringue-topped desserts (I might be wise to learn from them):

Lemon Meringue Bites at Baker’s Galore

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meringue Topping at Much Depends on Dinner

Meringue-topped Banana Pudding at Lisa is Cooking

Rhubarb Meringue Pie by Mennonite Girls Can Cook

So here are the recipes for the individual elements:

Meringue recipe

Ganache recipe

Orange Curd recipe

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Ingredients

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
90g sugar
Juice of 2 oranges
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
60g ice cold/frozen butter, cut into about 10 pieces

How to

Whisk eggs in a bowl and sieve into a pan – to remove thick bits of yolk.

Add the sugar to the egg mix and stir till it forms a soft mixture and put pan on very low heat on your stove top.

Continue mixing and then add the orange juice and vanilla powder. Stir well.

After 2-3 minutes, start adding butter 1 chunk at a time, mixing well till butter is melted before adding another.

After 10 – 12 minutes, it should be ready. { Don’t stress if the mixture looks thin, it will thicken once cooled}.

Put in clean and well washed jars {I don’t sterilise the jars for my curds because they end up refrigerated} and once cool, refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

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I am sending this on to Meeta’s (What’s for Lunch Honey?) Monthly Mingle, hosted this month by Erin of The Apartment Kitchen.

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Have a superb weekend. Mine is a tad bit painful cause my camera, my beloved G10 is in the shop….for repairs. Bad for new photos but excellent for old ones – I have loads of posts not yet shared so, worry not and keep visiting.

LOL[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Chocolate and Orange Meringue Tarts – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

37 Comments

  1. Beautiful! I’ll pass on a tip that worked for me concerning the ‘soggy’ meringues. The italian website http://www.ciaoItalia.com has a dessert recipe for ‘Meringue Tarts with Kiwi’ and she leaves her meringues in the oven for 1 hour to cool, after baking. I’ve had success with this, so am now off to make your delicious mix of chocolate & orange. I will also let the puddings cool before filling. Good luck to all & happy eating !!

  2. How oh how did I miss this post on these beautiful, BEAUTIFUL tarts?!! Oh Oz, they’re just lovely. 🙂 You are such a delight to me, dear lady. 🙂

  3. Live and learn. I’ve had plenty of kitchen disappointments over the years. But when you have success, it makes it all so worth while.
    Mimi

  4. LOVE the specific photos. I CANNOT WAIT to try these! You have inspired me and motivated me and build the I CAN DO this inside of me through this post. The photos are wonderful and I love the flavours in this and the crunch and everything about it screams WOWOWOWOW to me. Thank you…. BUT, did you know that these kinds of posts can literally translate the adrenaline to fat from just LOOKING?
    🙂
    Valerie

  5. What a wonderful dessert! We were just talking about chocolate orange desserts literally minutes ago … these look absolutely wonderful. I love everything about them from the meringue to the chocolate.

  6. Ah well, we all have days like this in the kitchen – I certainly have my fair share! Sometimes we experiment with something that seems like a great idea and it turns out there’s a reason why noone else has been doing it.

    Having said that, it occurs to me that maybe if you were to coat the inside of your meringue bases with some chocolate that that might stop the fruit filling making them go soggy? I don’t want you to revisit your disaster but assuming the fruit doesn’t go into the cases warm, I see no reason why this shouldn’t work. And a layer of chocolate might be the spark needed to give it that zing you felt was missing?

  7. My mother and sister both make a divine lemon angel pie. And their butterscotch meringue is fabulous too. So I have worked with a meringue crust before. The problem is this: I live in Florida now and the humidity deals a death blow to meringues of any kind.
    Boo hoo!

    • Aah, fantastic. Just googled lemon angel pie. I’ll have to give it a try! And I made mine on a very warm day…..perhaps I can blame the heat!

  8. These tarlets look amazing. Those mini pans are definately worth every penny!

  9. Good on you for havign a go Oz. That combo sounds fabulous, pity it didin’t quite work out. They looked very pretty though.

    And my G10 sends lots of hugs to yours with hopes to get better soon 🙂

    • Kiss your G10 back. Taking photos with a 3 MP camera is unbelievably hard…………but they won’t make it on to KB, ever!

  10. Chocolate and orange is always winning combination! Beautiful tarts and images Oz 🙂
    Hope you are having wonderful weekend…

  11. I’m so glad you posted what should have been a fantastic dessert. I think all of have us have suffered the crux of mind and reality. I had a similiar issue with using puff pastry for lemon curd tartletts. Flavor was good but the pastry just overwhelmed everything….didn’t work out in the mini sense! The photos still look fab and I do adore orange and chocolate together!

  12. Bummer. When I started reading, I thought..”oh that’s a good idea, meringue tart shells, I wonder why I’ve never read about that before..” 🙂

    Still the parts all look wonderful, even if the sum was less so. Look forward to seeing what you segue them all into! 🙂

  13. Chocoholic Gill sees a bar of dark chocolate flavoured with Orange Clove … what kinda choco did you use?

    I must say though, I am dying to try a citrus dust truffle when I get my skates on. I bet mine might suffer because of kid-in-the-bath too though 😉

  14. What a wonderful dessert and what wonderful pictures. I love meringues so much – it’s definitely somewhere on top of my ‘most favorite’ list. … Oh, and thanks again for the contest tip. 🙂 Petra

  15. You are so creative, and that is how some of the best recipes are discovered. Some by mistakes, some by trial and error! I missed your vanilla powder post…I’m going there next.

    Still love your photos, hope your camera comes back to you soon!

  16. It’s a great idea, actually! For a diabetic such as myself, meringue makes a great, low-carb pie crust. Your tarts were lovely and creative, maybe just needs a little tweaking to make them perfect???

  17. Wow…now that’s a labour of love.
    You got my attention by the ingredients alone.
    Then, to visualize how you put it all together was certainly the bonus.
    Beautiful pastry creation within a very put together post.
    Hope your camera is good to you again soon ;o)
    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  18. Hope you get your camera back soon… fantastic recipe though – I would never have thought to use the meringue as a pastry base. It’s a wonderful idea.

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