Cherry Meringue Kisses

Blackforest meringue kisses

Today is time for meringue kisses. I have been making meringue kisses for a while, actually quite regularly (after I had figured out how to get the meringues right) since their first appearance in a Gingerbread variation on S&C.

But why are these sweet little pieces actually called kisses?

Blackforest meringue kisses

Yes, why are these sweet little pieces actually called kisses? I have no clue. The two meringue pieces are sticked together with a layer of ganache – so are the two meringues kissing each other? Could be a reason.The next thing that came to my mind is their shape similar to a Hershey’s kiss. According to Hershey the origin of the name is not exactly known. They are stating the manufacturing process as the most likely source for the name: from the sound a machine was making when putting the chocolate kisses onto the conveyor belt. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to believe this explanation. Hershey’s kisses have been on the market since 1907 which is a long time, but is it really too long to know where the name came from?

Looking right before my doorstep here in the heart of Europe, another version of chocolate kisses (chocolate covered egg white foam) has been around since the 19th century. Are we now on the right track? In the 19th century pastry shops in France invented sweets with the horribly racist name “Tête de nègre”, a chocolate covered meringue like mass. In German meringues are called “Baiser” (which is French for “kissing”) –  people are speculating that this is how in German these sweets were named “kisses” (“Küsse”). First mentions already exist from around 1829. So, was the Hershey kiss really the first sweet kiss on the market? Definitely not. Not only in Europe but also in North America: The “Candy Professor” Samira Kawash looked behind this myth. According to her research, at the beginning of last century a kiss was just one of many common names for a small bite sized candy or small piece of chocolate. Until the 1990s Hersey’s had to exclude the term “kiss” from trademark applications for logos or wrapper images for “Hershey’s chocolate kisses” as the trademark officials insisted on “kiss” being a general term for (chocolate) candy and hence could not be trademarked.

I now leave you to enjoy these cherry meringue kisses. What are your favorite sweets that are called kisses?

Blackforest meringue kisses

Blackforest meringue kisses

Ingredients (makes about 45 pieces):
3 egg white (35 g each)
150 g granulated sugar
a few drops red food colouring
40 g grated dark chocolate
piping bag with round tip
Cherry chocolate ganache:
40 ml cream
200 g white chocolate
50 g sour cherries (fresh and pitted or morello cherries compote, well drained)
small piping bag

1) Heat oven at 90 ºC.
2) Whisk egg whites until stiff. Slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue mixing until the mass is shiny and the peaks are stiff.
3) Brush stripes of red food colouring along the inside of the piping bag*. Put the egg white mass into the piping bag. Pipe little kisses to a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle the meringue kisses with a bit of grated dark chocolate. Put them in the middle of the oven and let dry at 90 ºC for roughly 90 minutes until the top is dried. Turn off the oven and let the meringue kisses cool down in the oven (with door closed) for several hours, preferably over night.
Cherry chocolate ganache:
4) Chop white chocolate. Puree the sour cherries. Run the puree through a sieve to remove the skin.
5) In a small pan, bring the cream to a boil and remove from heat. Add chopped white chocolate. Stir cream and melted chocolate well until it forms a homogenous ganache. Let the ganache cool down in the fridge for approx. one hour.
6) Put the ganache in a small piping bag. Sandwich two meringue kisses together with the chocolate ganache. Roll the ganache part in grated chocolate. Let dry. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.

*In this video the Meringue Girls show how to color meringues.