These are my version of the traditional biscuits called “Brutti-ma-Buoni” in Italian… they are light, chewy, crispy and melt in the mouth and a bit macaron like and the chocolate and nuts magically end up in the centre. They are also gluten and dairy free. Pistachio and chocolate are a fantastic combination and they are perfect with a coffee at the end of a meal and they are super easy to make. I think they make fantastic home made gifts wrapped in cellophane with a ribbon. Perfect at Christmas or anytime.
Makes about 14 meringues
50g of 70% dark chocolate (I use Green and Blacks)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1/3 cup of roasted pistachios
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
Green food colouring (I used gel food colouring from Squires Kitchen in Mint)
Preheat the oven to 180c or 350f and line two baking trays with silicon sheets or parchment paper and set aside. Put the nuts and chocolate into a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs.
In a large mixing bowl and with an electric whisk beat the egg whites with a teaspoon of the sugar until it firms soft peaks. Add the rest of the sugar slowly whisking thoroughly, a teaspoon at a time until the mixture is white and glossy and meringue like. Next add the food colouring, I use a tiny amount to make a pale pastel green colour. Fold the vanilla paste, almond extract and the chocolate and pistachios and stir in gently until mixed.
Put a tablespoon of the mixture spaced out evenly and apart on the trays, or pipe it on with a piping bag and large nozzle (I used a French nozzle) and put them into the oven. Switch the oven off straight away. Leave them in the oven without opening it overnight or until stone cold. When you take them out they will be crisp and dried and meringuey. You can dust them with unsweetened cocoa powder if you fancy. They will last for 3 days in an airtight container if you can resist them that long.