I'm trying to make chocolate/hazelnut meringue cookies, but when I add the chocolate, nuts and sugar to my whipped egg whites, they just deflate...even when I add pretty slowly. Am I adding too much stuff...too quickly, or is it just the fat in the chocolate flattening my egg whites? I'm adding about 1/4 cup of nuts, 1/4 cup cocoa - 1 ounce chopped chocolate and 1/2 cup granulated sugar to 4 sot-peak egg whites.
meringue cookie mess
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It will depend on whether or not you are using grated chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder to the meringue. With melted chocolate, you'd add it at the end and fold rather quickly to incorporate it; the meringue should be stiff enough to not collapse. If you are using grated chocolate, mix it with the sugar so it disperses evenly; you would also mix the cocoa powder with the sugar for the same reason.
If you are making a standard French meringue, where the sugar is added in small increments once the whites are whipped to a soft/medium peak and continue until it is glossy and firm, you can fold in the finely chopped nuts and grated chocolate at the end (as if you were making a pavlova) because the meringue is now firm enough to have other things added without deflating.