A Mexican version of the French Oeufs à la Niege – “snowy eggs” – this recipe reflects the French influence brought about by the ill-fated reign of Maximilian and Carlotta, who were held in far higher esteem in the culinary domain than in the political arena.
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablet (about 2 oz.) Mexican chocolate, grated
For the merengues:
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
Place the milk and half the sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar.
Add the egg mixture to the milk mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens but does not boil.
Add the chocolate and stir until it is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
Allow the mixture to cool completely, and pour into 4 dessert goblets.
Beat the egg whites, adding the sugar gradually, until stiff peaks form.
Divide the mixture into four custard or muffin cups, set them in a pan filled with 1″ of water, and bake them in a preheated 350º oven until the tops of the merengues are golden brown.
Float a merengue in each of the goblets containing the chocolate mixture, top with toasted, slivered almonds and caramelized sugar syrup if desired.
Variation: Form a depression in each merengue with the back of a spoon before baking. After placing each merengue in the chocolate mixture, fill the depression with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with syrup and nuts if desired.
Mexican chocolate: A culinary evolution