The kid in me loves meringue. This big one, with cocoa in it, is from Whole Foods Market; they often have them in the bakery, and I can see splitting them and topping them with berries for a summer dessert, much like a Pavlova. (Sometimes Rory Philipson at Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell has a Pavlova on her dessert menu.)
I’m pretty sure my mother taught me how to bake meringues, but I can’t remember how that came about, or how she used them herself. I think maybe we just ate them as a cookie.
Other awesome desserts are made with meringues, too, such as a marjolaine. The first marjolaine I ever had was at the Union Park dining room in Cape May, many years ago, before I was a food writer.
The perfect ending to that perfect meal was a pistachio marjolaine with ice cream and milk chocolate sauce. The base was the meringue, maybe with crushed pistachios in it. There was maybe a cake layer, which would be typical of a marjolaine, but I can’t recall… I do remember a layer of pistachio ice cream, just about my favorite flavor. And the milk chocolate sauce was perfect, I had to admit, better than dark chocolate, my usual preference, would have been. Clearly, good milk chocolate has its place. And a meringue always hits the spot.