Flourless chocolate cookies + infinite variations | recipe
These cookies are an absolute wonder. They contain no flour (so great for Coeliacs and kosher for Pesach), and no fat, and yet they're incredibly fudgy and rich by some kind of alchemical reaction between chocolate and egg whites. They're a kind of enriched meringue, but without the structure and matrix needed for a proper meringue, so significantly less stressful for meringue novices. And I say this as someone who once had to have a lie down before a party because two batches of meringues consecutively failed on me.
I took these to a GP teaching day (where we learned all about sex) and they went down an absolute treat. "Those ones with the white on top, they're great" may not sound like a rave review, but it's positively effusive considering the source.
This recipe is very slightly adapted from one on Genius Recipes, because the original must make the most ridiculous number of cookies, and this one makes a much more reasonable 16-20 depending on the size. I've already made this three times, with different variations - the current winner is the sesame version with tahini and sesame seeds, because my sister is an absolute fiend for sesame and I bought 1kg of black sesame seeds a while ago that are taking up far too much room in my cupboards. I'll list more potential twists at the end of the recipe, so tell me if you try any!
Magical Flourless Chocolate Cookies
2 medium egg whites
1 cup of icing sugar, divided in half
1/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp cornflour
90g dark chocolate (at least 74%) + 35g chopped dark chocolate
1/2 tsp flaked sea salt
1 tbsp liquid of your choice (milk, booze, nut milk if you're staying dairy free)
More icing sugar to roll the cookies in
First of all, melt the 90g chocolate in the microwave in sec bursts (or over a bain-marie if you want to be fancy but in my house we save our fancy for where it matters). Leave this to cool slightly once melted.
Using a stand mixer or an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, and then add 1/2 cup of icing sugar and continue to whisk until you get glossy mix with the consistency of lightly whipped cream or thick custard - it won't hold a peak but it will be thick.
In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cornflour. Dump this into the meringue mix and fold together under it's homogenous, then add the tbsp of liquid and the melted chocolate, followed by the chopped chocolate. This is where I'd add any extracts, if you wanted to use them.
Preheat the oven to 195C. The mix should firm up a bit once the melted chocolate is mixed in, but to make it slightly easier I would then put the mix in the fridge whilst the oven is heating.
Once the mixture has chilled and become more firm (around 20-30mins), scoop heaped teaspoon size portions and roll them into balls, then roll these in the icing sugar. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 195c for 8-10 mins, turning halfway. The cookies will crack as they spread, in the middle will still look slightly molten but the cookies themselves will be firmer, about as firm as the base of your thumb, near your wrist. Technical, huh?
Let them cool before eating, and store them in an airtight box at room temperature for a couple of days, if you don't eat them all at once.
- Add a tablespoon of runny tahini in the place of the liquid, and roll in sesame seeds
- Add coconut extract and coconut milk if you have it, and roll in shredded coconut
- Add orange extract and orange juice
- Add mint extract (if you're a weirdo who likes mint chocolate and doesn't think it all tastes like After Eights)
- Add a tablespoon of rum! or white rum!
- Add some rose extract and then blitz the icing sugar with dried rose petals for a Turkish delight cookie
- Roll it in sprinkles! I'm doing this myself this week
- Add chopped nuts and dried cherries
- Basically anything