mountain of meringues

mountain of meringues | movita beaucoup

This is the dessert I most frequently requested as a teenager. My mother, Rosie Beaucoup, got the inspiration from Canadian Living magazine, and after its first appearance in the Beaucoup household, I was hooked. Have I ever told you how much I love meringues? I’d maim for them.

The concept is straightforward: a big pile of meringues, gobs of whipped cream, and loads of chocolate sauce. It’s one of those desserts that will make you look like a superstar when you bust it out. No decorating skills required. Simple idea, brilliant results.

mountain of meringues | movita beaucoup

Envision yourself hosting an epic dinner party. A dozen of your so-called friends have been invited, and Gérard Depardieu and Rob Ford just showed up. (I said the party was epic, not classy.) Let’s assume you’ve wowed your guests with pheasant under glass and your legendary repartee, and they are now waiting expectantly for dessert. You excuse yourself from the table, and have your servants clear the dishes. As your guests discuss neoclassical art and Justin Bieber’s “situation,” you whip some cream, and quickly construct a mountain. A mountain made of delightfully crisp meringue mounds. It takes mere moments – you simply stack meringues atop one other using the whipped cream as grout. As you construct the mountain, you gently warm some chocolate sauce.

mountain of meringues | movita beaucoup

Once mountain construction has finished and the warm sauce has been placed in an elegant pouring vessel (gravy boat), you sashay to the dining table with your mountain of meringues. There is applause. You graciously nod as you set the mountain down upon the table. AND THEN YOU POUR RIVERS OF CHOCOLATE SAUCE OVER THE MOUNTAIN. Minds are blown, and you spend next summer at Gérard’s vineyard.

mountain of meringues | movita beaucoup

To pull this scenario off, please consider the following:

  1. Gérard Depardieu may or may not accept your dinner invitation. Rob Ford, of course, will.
  2. The recipe I’ve provided is for a life-sized mountain. You could easily serve a dozen people with it, assuming each person eats three meringue mounds, and Rob Ford eats any extras. You could use your own small-batch recipe for the meringue cookies and whipped cream, should you be unable to find a dozen people willing to spend time with you.
  3. You can’t really assemble this dessert ahead of time. You can prepare the meringues and sauce in advance, but the whipped cream and assembly should be left until the last minute, otherwise your mountain will be soggy.

If you’re a Meringue Newbie, there are some great tutorials online – check out this one from The Kitchn or this one from The Joy of Baking. And listen up: if your meringues turn out a little chewy in the centre – if they have failed to meet your crunchy expectations – don’t sweat it. Construct that mountain like a boss. The whipped cream and chocolate sauce have got your back. Trust me – no one will notice if your meringues aren’t perfect. That said, ideally you want a dry, crunchy meringue for this creation. Bits will crumble and fly across the table as you break into them with your spoon. The soft, floofy whipped cream will get pulled into the cascading chocolate sauce as you break the mountain up into serving bowls. Extra whipped cream and chocolate sauce can be used to dress individual servings, should you so desire.

This is decadence. This is a sugar high. This is what I had for dessert on Prom Night 1990. Right before killin’ it on the dance floor…

mountain of meringues | movita beaucoup

. . .

Mountain of Meringues

print and make

Yields enough to serve 12-14+ people.

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through all of the recipes before beginning. Measure out all of your ingredients. This is a three part recipe – meringues, chocolate sauce, whipped cream. All are included below. This recipe should be assembled just before serving, though the meringues and chocolate sauce can be made ahead of time. 

meringues

Yields about 1 lb. of meringue – 40+ meringues depending on scoop size.

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 lb. granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 225° F – this can be done as you are beating your meringues. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on medium speed until the whites are foamy and hold soft peaks. Raise the speed to medium-high and continue to whip the egg whites while gradually adding the granulated sugar – just a little at a time – beating until glossy, and stiff peaks have been achieved. If you rub a little meringue between your fingers, it should not feel gritty. Beat in the vanilla. Stop the mixer and sift the cornstarch into the bowl – if using – and gently fold it in. (I live by the ocean, and find the cornstarch helps me achieve a dry, crusty meringue with less chance of a chewy centre.)

Pipe or scoop the meringue into desired shapes on parchment lined baking sheets. I use a small ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons) to scoop the meringue, and a small spoon to assist with shaping.

Bake for 1-2 hours. To test for doneness, break a meringue in two and check the interior. If interior is sticky and moist, return meringues to oven and continue baking until firm, crisp and dry inside. When finished baking, allow to cool completely and then gently remove/peel from parchment.

I like to let my meringues cool in the oven – I turn off the heat and leave the door closed – and let them cool for an hour or so. Do not do this if your meringues appear browned in the least as they may over cook. Keep an eye on them and remove if you feel this is happening, and let them cool completely on wire racks.

Meringues should be stored in an air-tight container. Note: meringues hate humidity.

chocolate sauce

Yields about 3 cups.

  • 13 ounces evaporated milk*
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

* I use a 370 ml can, as that is what is commonly sold here in Canada. That’s just under 13 ounces, but still works out perfectly.

In a medium sized saucepan, bring evaporated milk and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Once boiling, continue to boil for one minute and then reduce heat to low. Add the chocolate and whisk until completely melted. Whisk in the butter, vanilla and salt. When smooth, remove from heat. Allow to cool, whisking well every so often. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serve immediately (while still warm) or cool and store in a mason jar in the refrigerator. Sauce stored in refrigerator can be re-heated in a saucepan over low heat (or slowly and gently in the microwave) before serving. This will make the sauce easier to pour/ladle.

This recipe makes more sauce than required for your meringue mountain rivers – spoon the extra sauce over individual servings of the mountain if desired, or store and serve leftovers over treats such as ice cream.

whipped cream

  • 2 cups whipping/heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Place the cream, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium high speed until you achieve medium peaks or your desired consistency. Over-beating will make the cream lumpy. Whipped cream can be made in a stand mixer with a whip attachment, with a handheld mixer fitted with a whip attachment or by hand with a whisk.

assembly of meringue mountain

Assemble just before serving. If your chocolate sauce has been refrigerated, gently reheat it – it should be warm and pourable, but not overly hot. Build your meringue mountain on a cake stand or serving platter with a rim so the chocolate rivers won’t overflow. Stack the meringues using whipped cream to fill in holes and hold the pieces together. Pour the chocolate sauce over the mountain, creating cascading chocolate rivers. Use just enough chocolate sauce for drama, and spoon leftover sauce/whipping cream over individual servings.

notes

  • assemble your mountain just before serving – if assembled too early, the whipping cream will make your meringues soggy and less stable
  • make the meringues and chocolate sauce ahead of time – store the meringues in an airtight container, the sauce in the refrigerator
  • meringues hate humidity so this is not a great rainy day or humid summertime recipe
  • make the whipping cream just before assembling {so it’s floofy and fresh}
  • pour the chocolate sauce over the mountain in front of your guests. {trust me}
  • you can use any meringue, whipping cream and sauce recipe you like
  • you can easily adjust the size of this mountain by using recipes with a smaller yield – this applies to the meringues and whipped cream in particular, as the chocolate sauce stores very well in the fridge for other uses
  • use a cake stand or serving platter with a lip to prevent chocolate river overflow

33 Responses to mountain of meringues

  1. Stacy March 3, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Dang, I was holding my breath as I scrolled down past your comment about Prom Night 1990, praying not just a little bit that the next picture was going to be a prom one. Such disappointment. Your meringue mountain looks absolutely DIVINE but after the buildup (I know, I know, in my own mind), it is small compensation.

    • movita beaucoup March 3, 2014 at 8:54 am #

      I’ll paint a picture for you: gold lamé dress and a perm.

  2. Willow @Will Cook For Friends March 3, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    T-Hubs and I make meringue cookies all the time, but I never, ever, would have thought to make them into a mountain like this. So freakin’ brilliant. I’m pretty sure when you said it makes 12 servings, you meant 2 — yes? Ima say yes.

    • movita beaucoup March 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Yes. It is for two people. Two people that don’t mind suffering the sugar jitters. {We didn’t…}

  3. wee eats March 3, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    confession 1: i’ve never made meringues (although i have made macarons, which are kinda similar? ish? maybe? it could count!)
    confession 2: i’ve never wanted to make meringues more in my life than in this instant

    and when i do, i’m totes inviting rob ford. i think he’s in cali today maybe he’d take a road trip down to az for some meringues in mountain form? i could dust them with powdered sugar and just pretend it was cocaine…

    • movita beaucoup March 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Dude, Rob Ford has zero standards. He’d come if you opened a can of tuna for him…

      2.0 had never consumed a meringue cookie before I made a few test batches last week. THEY HAVE CHANGED HIS LIFE AND HE TALKS ABOUT THEM INCESSANTLY. So… make some, okay?

  4. Lan | morestomach March 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    i’d challenge you to a dance off at prom but seeing this confection i must concede to your awesomeness. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN’T DO MOVITA?

    • movita beaucoup March 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      I cannot snap my fingers, whistle, belch or do cartwheels.

  5. Ang March 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Really?? A MOUNTAIN of meringue??? How quickly we fell from that healthy mountain of pancakes to this??? Kinda not as far as you think when you say it out loud . . . pancakes . . . health food . . . not so much. . . I could start at the top and slide all the way down to the bottom of this plate, even in gold lame!

  6. tworedbowls March 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    These are GORGEOUS. I know for a fact that if I ever tried to sashay with a platter full of anything while serving, I would trip and drop them over everyone. More than likely a person would end up chocolate-covered instead of the meringues. But at least I can gaze upon the wonder that is your meringue-chocolate-lava-mountain. Love.

    • movita beaucoup March 4, 2014 at 7:44 am #

      Sashay Incidents are to be considered dinner party entertainment. If one leaves a dinner party clean, one has partied wrong.

  7. prairierose March 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    We enjoy this as a dish from hubby’s Danish heritage. We make small meringues and add sliced bananas to it. We assemble it in our bowls at the table. It’s each person for themselves! 🙂

    • movita beaucoup March 4, 2014 at 7:44 am #

      So… the bananas make the dessert healthy?

      Brilliant!

  8. cheri March 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    These would be the show stopper at a party for sure. Great post.

  9. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) March 3, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    I love this! I never would have thought of serving meringues in this way, but it’s pretty genius—casual and classy all wrapped into one.

  10. Sandra R March 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    This is BRILLIANT! My mother’s meringues are epic. She serves them with fresh strawberries macerated in sugar (like this isn’t sweet enough), and homemade vanilla ice cream. This was called Strawberry Shortcake (sometimes she used angel food cake if too humid for meringues) . I was in college before I tasted what most people call Strawberry Shortcake. I was outraged! How dare they make something so incorrectly! So bland! Not enough sugar! But your dessert, yes, I can tell. It has just enough sugar, and chocolate too!! Double win!

    • movita beaucoup March 4, 2014 at 7:46 am #

      This reminds me of a story I once read about a mother who used to gently warm Oreo cookies in the oven just before her kids came home from school. It wasn’t until those kids got to university that they figured out where Oreos actually came from…

  11. Stephbo March 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    O…M…G!!!!!! That is all

    • movita beaucoup March 4, 2014 at 7:20 am #

      I thought you might like that…

  12. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen March 4, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    Wow, now that’s a party cake!! I love meringues and would definitely dig into this. I think I’d want a plate with my own meringue mountain so I wouldn’t have to share.. and I’d add little scoops of ice cream all over it too. You are amazing, Movita.. I love this!! Your mom is amazing too because she started it all:)

    • movita beaucoup March 4, 2014 at 7:21 am #

      Rosie Beaucoup has started many a trend that she gets no credit for. The woman’s a genius!

  13. themessybakerblog March 4, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Classy dinner parties are for snobs. I’d much rather a casual party where we tuck dish towels into our shirts to protect our white cotton t-shirts. I can picture you busting move on the dance floor, the kind where you grab your head with your right hand and your foot with your left hand behind your back and thrust. It’s an epic 90s move. I always bust it out at dinner parties. Hmm, who helped you eat this mountain of meringues?

  14. Nancy @ gottagetbaked March 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    I NEED to be at this epic dinner party! The repartee will be amazing, of course, and now when I move, it will only be in a sashaying fashion because, obviously. Your meringue mountain is glorious. There’s no other word to describe it. And your photos are gorgeous. Sashaying reminds me of that lady who tried to make prancercize a thing. Have you seen the videos? If not, get thee to youtube immediately. They’ll make your day.

  15. thatskinnychickcanbake March 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    My family would swoon over this mountain of meringues!!! And we’d be happy to eat the soggy leftovers, too 🙂

  16. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 5, 2014 at 3:43 am #

    Serves 12-14? and one of those is Rob Ford? Surely not. Once he’s had his gob in the trough there would be nothing left for the likes of you and me. He still cracks me up. I’d grab my spoon and stand right behind him.

    • movita beaucoup March 5, 2014 at 6:04 am #

      I’m gunna recommend that you stand in front of Rob Ford.

  17. emma March 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    What did you discuss at your Prom 1990 dinner party? I was 3 at the time, my conversation skills were probably lacking (though my words, probably not).

    • movita beaucoup March 15, 2014 at 5:59 am #

      Politics, of course.

      Duh.

  18. Amy March 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Oh my lord, look at those meringues!!! I’m totally requesting this for my birthday “cake” this year. I love meringues so much and there certainly cannot be a better way to eat them than this! Also, I’ve never made meringues…that needs to change, stat.

  19. shannon March 20, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    how has amy never made meringues? they’re like the easiest and most fun things ever.

    you know who loves meringues more than anyone? my mother. you know who’s addicted to my homemade chocolate sauce like Rob Ford is addicted to, well, being Rob Ford? my mother. you know who would die with joy over a meringue mountain like this? my mother. birthday cake for my mother = this, this year.

  20. wendy@chezchloe March 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    And it’s gluten free! not that i really care.
    Gorgeous idea- might toss a couple strawberries on there too- I’m definitely putting this on my must make list.
    AND- I must say I like that your prom night wasn’t too far in years away from mine. I think because I admire your humor and how cool you seem and you are near my age. funny huh. cheers…w

  21. Food Stories (@FoodStoriesBlog) March 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    WOW ~ Would love to see this submitted at FoodFotoGallery.com for all to see 🙂

  22. movita beaucoup December 28, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in March 2014. Thanks for stopping by!

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