Espresso Meringue kisses

Light and crisp coffee-flavoured meringues with a delectable chocolate ganache filling, these sweet treats are perfect little bites to have with an afternoon coffee or to serve guests after dinner.

Ingredients (Meringue)

  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 110 g (3 3/4 oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)

Ingredients (Chocolate Ganache)

  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) pouring (whipping) cream

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2). Brush two large baking trays with melted butter or oil, then line with non-stick baking paper. Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water and set aside to cool.

Put the egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour and cooled coffee mixture until just combined.

Spoon the meringue into a piping (icing) bag fitted with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) plain nozzle. Holding the nozzle about 1 cm above the lined trays, pipe small swirls to make 2 cm (3/4 inch) meringues, leaving about 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) between each.

Bake the meringues for 30 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway through cooking, or until dry to touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool in the oven with the door ajar.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache. Put the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened to a spreadable consistency.

Spread the base of a cooled meringue with a little ganache and sandwich with another meringue. Repeat with the remaining meringues and ganache.