A Swiss classic, these chocolate meringue S's are fairly easy to prepare.  The method in this recipe is simplified -- usually the egg whites are whipped and a hot sugar syrup poured over them -- a process I find unnecessarily complicated.  The easier technique of heating the egg whites and sugar provides similar -- and excellent -- results.  My thanks to Stephan Schiesser of the Confiserie Schiesser in Basel for this recipe.

Makes about thirty-six 2-inch S's

3 large egg whites

14 tablespoons sugar (measure a cup of sugar, then remove 2 level tablespoons)

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans lined with parchment

  1.  Set racks in lower and upper thirds of oven and preheat to 300 degrees.
  2. Bring a pan of water to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.  Combine egg whites and sugar in bowl of electric mixer and whip to combine.  Place over pan of simmering water and use a wire whisk to stir gently and steadily, until egg white is hot and sugar is dissolved, about 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Place meringue on mixer and whip at medium speed until risen in volume and substantially cooled, but not dry.
  4. Pour chocolate over meringue and fold it in with a rubber spatula.
  5. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tube (Ateco #806) and pipe S shapes, about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared pans.  Bake the S's about 10 to 12 minutes, until crisp on the outside, but still somewhat soft within.
  6. Cool on pans and store in an air tight container.