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The way a cloud would

Traveling is really, really great. I mean, I know that’s not exactly newsworthy, but bear with me for a minute. I guess what I mean is that, especially since I started working at home, where I spend lots of long hours in concentration and quiet, every time I go away, I feel thirsty somehow - like an old, crusty sponge, waiting to soak up something, anything, a new sight or smell or taste. And it feels so good to drink it all in, the way you’d do with a glass of water, in one enormous gulp, on a humid day. All that drinking in and soaking up, all that traveling, so good.

But then, after a while, coming home is kind of great too, in its own way. At first it feels like a sort of letdown, familiar but uncomfortable, like seeing an old photo of yourself and wondering why, oh why, you ever wore your hair like that. But then you start to notice the nice things. You notice that you actually like your little house, putty-colored living room carpet and all, much better than you thought you did before you left. You notice that dinner tastes better when you eat it from your own plates. And when you turn on the mixer on the kitchen counter, it shakes a little and makes this raspy, metallic whirr-whirrr sound, and somehow, though the same noise used to make you worry that the whole thing was going to explode into dust and shrapnel, now it sounds cheerful, workmanlike, even reassuring.

So I guess what I mean is that traveling is great, because of how it makes you feel about home.

Anyway. The only trouble with coming home is that Seattle doesn’t have Tartine, and San Francisco does. Which means that San Francisco gets to have rochers whenever it wants, and Seattle doesn’t. This is, in some dictionaries, the definition of trouble. Entire revolutions have been started because of shortages in bread - and that, people, was only bread. It’s scary, really, to think of what a lack of cocoa nib meringues might lead to. That’s why I got out the mixer.

Ever since I got Tartine, the bakery’s cookbook, I’ve been itching to make the rochers. Essentially, they’re just meringue cookies, plain and simple, with either toasted almonds or cocoa nibs stirred into the batter. They’re crisp on the outside, shaped like small, snowy boulders, but inside, they’re light and soft and chewy, like a good marshmallow. They’re very simple, like I said, but they’re also very special, and no matter how many we buy, there are never quite enough. Brandon and I shared the last of our stash on the ride home last Wednesday night, somewhere just outside of Portland, on I-5 North. It was sad. Even sadder was finding a lonely crumb of it wedged into the folds of the passenger seat a couple days later. So I decided, finally, to make some.

I’ve heard mixed things about the Tartine cookbook, but I was unafraid. I whipped up the meringue base, folded in a good dose of nibs - the book calls for almonds, but I winged it - and put them in the oven. They came out okay, if a little brown. (The directions called for the oven to be set to 350 degrees, higher than I’d ever heard of for meringues.) But when I bit into one, it just wasn’t right. It was heavy and dense, and it tasted wrong. It tasted brown, for lack of a better word. Brandon ate a couple of them, or maybe three, because when the man is desperate, he doesn’t give up easily. But the rest eventually went the way of the trash can, and I went out for a pint of cookies ’n cream to cover up my disappointment. (Also, I love cookies ’n cream.)

And then I tried again. I could have gone back to the Tartine recipe and tried it at a lower temperature, but I don’t know; I was sort of holding a grudge. I get this way sometimes. I thought, too, about trying the meringue cookie recipe in this month’s Cook’s Illustrated, but I couldn’t tell if it would be right either. So I pulled out this recipe, which I’ve used before to make a lovely meringue for pavlovas, and I decided to work from there. I scaled it back a bit - I didn’t need that many - and added some nibs, and after a pass through the oven, they looked very, very pretty. Brandon ate one. Then I ate one. They were more delicate and fragile than their prototype, but they were delicious. They were crisp on the outside, just as I wanted, and the inside yielded the way a cloud would, or a down pillow, if clouds and down pillows were edible. It was light and marshmallowy, and it melted the second it hit the tongue. It was a little different from Tartine’s, but in some ways, I liked it even better. So we shared another. And then it was decided: these were keepers.

At this point, I should tell you that as I was typing the previous paragraph, Brandon (who is sitting on the couch across the room, watching Flight of the Conchords, and was not in any way prompted) said, “I keep thinking about those cocoa nib things. They are SOOOOO good.” So there you go.

Now, all that said, I should warn you that these aren’t really cookies. You could eat them like cookies, yes, and we certainly did, and I even commented to Brandon that they would be very good with hot tea or coffee. But be warned: they will crumble all over your shirt. On the upside, this means that if you don’t brush the crumbs off, and if you walk around like that all day, you’ll have a readily available snack whenever you want it. On the downside, it means that they’re probably better suited to being eaten with a fork. Eaten, say, as cocoa nib pavlovas, with whipped cream and a spoonful of briefly cooked berries. Which isn’t really a downside at all.

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas
Adapted from this recipe by Shuna Fish Lydon

For room temperature egg whites, take the eggs out of the fridge the night before you need them, or put them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes. And as for the nibs, be sure to buy roasted ones. Raw nibs can taste very, very bitter – not what you want here, to say the least. Brand-wise, I like Scharffen Berger.

I kind of like the thought of these with only whipped cream, but if you want to make a quick berry sauce, it’s easy: just put some fresh or frozen berries in a saucepan. Then cook them briefly to your desired consistency, adding sugar to taste and mashing the fruit lightly, if you like. Cool to room temperature before using.

Lastly, note that the instructions below yield fairly small, dainty pavlovas. If you’d like them to be larger, dollop the meringue onto the baking sheet in larger mounds, about 6 to 10 in all. Total baking time will be 40 minutes to 1 hour.

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup egg whites (from 3 to 4 large eggs), preferably at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
½ cup cocoa nibs (see above)

To serve:
Unsweetened whipped cream
Berry sauce, preferably strawberry or raspberry (optional; see above)

Set oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 275° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Pour the vanilla into a small cup. Whisk the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt, starting on low and increasing the speed incrementally to medium. Beat until the mixture holds soft peaks and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Increase the speed to medium-high, and gradually, slowly, add the sugar and cornstarch. Continue to beat until glossy, stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, about 4 minutes. The mixture should be very thick. In the final moments of beating, add the vanilla. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand, and quickly, gently, fold in the cocoa nibs.

Immediately spoon the meringue by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets. I find that it’s easiest to do this with two tablespoons – the kind you eat with, not the measuring kind. Scoop up a good dollop of the meringue on one spoon; then use the second spoon to nudge the meringue out of the first spoon and onto the pan. You should be able to fit about 10 or 11, nicely spaced, on each sheet pan. With the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the middle of each mound.

Place the baking sheets in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 250° F. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating and switching the baking sheets halfway through, until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white – or, at most, pale gold around the edges. If, when you open the oven to rotate them, they appear to be cracking or taking on too much color, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees.

When the meringues are ready, remove them from the oven and cool on the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, or until completely cool.

Serve dolloped with whipped cream and, if you like, berry sauce. Or they’re perfectly good plain, as a delicate cookie of sorts.

Note: Pavlovas should keep in a tightly sealed container, or individually wrapped, at room temperature for up to a week, provided that the room is not humid. But I like them best on the first day.

Yield: 20-22 small pavlovas, serving 8 to 12


Anonymous Danielle said...

These look wonderful! I'll hold onto the recipe to try next time I make ice cream and have egg whites to use up.

7:40 PM, April 07, 2008  
OpenID rachelk said...

It's funny how some things stick in your brain and some do not. I can't believe I didn't try the Rochers, even when I was there with you. But what I can't get out of my mind is the Peanut Butter ice cream from Bi-Rite, so at least that was the same day. *Anyway* I think I'll try to follow your lead and whip some up to see if it matches the memory!

7:44 PM, April 07, 2008  
Blogger Claire said...

Hi Molly - I feel like this is a call-in show because I feel the need to tell you that I'm a long time lurker, first time commenter. I love your blog. Your writing about food transports me, gets my taste buds going and often gets me so worked up for good food little pricks of tears happen. But in a good way. This post just reminded me of how much I missed Tartine from the one time I ate there in January on my trip to San Francisco. I always like to be reminded so thanks. Sorry for the novella of a comment!

7:45 PM, April 07, 2008  
Blogger Audrey said...

I literally just pulled a batch of Cook's Illustrated meringues out of the oven (the chocolate ones, with finely chopped bittersweet chocolate mixed in). They're a tiny bit brown, but faaabulous.

Of course they'll never stand up to Tartine's rochers...

8:03 PM, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're making me hungry! I think I need a bedtime snack! These look wonderful, by the way. Jean

8:53 PM, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous Leah said...

I think that second photo, the one with the pavlovas on the pan, is one of my favorite photos you've ever posted. The light is so dreamy. And all those puffs... it's like the great cloud factory in the sky, getting ready for a perfect spring afternoon. Enchanting, dahling.

Also, how great is it that you have driven all the way back to Seattle, gone about your very busy business, come up with a yummy recipe (two more weeks until I can try), and STILL written a wonderful post before I've even finished a whole paragraph over chez moi. Clearly, you should also be teaching courses in time management. While serving pavlovas. xo

9:21 PM, April 07, 2008  
OpenID artisansweets said...

I continued to crave your pavlovas after the Eggs class so I have since enjoyed them with a rhubarb compote similar to the one that you made for us. But the addition of cocoa nibs tempts me to make them again!

9:50 PM, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous susan in HK said...

Have you tried adding white vinegar to your pavlovas? that seems to make them crisp outside with chewy-soft innards.

10:38 PM, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous Diana said...

Sorry for my Australian question-what is a nib? The recipe sounds delicious.

10:55 PM, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous Amy said...

I buy mine at the health food store - Cacao Nibs, probably near the Goji berries.

Good luck!

Amy (in australia)

11:16 PM, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous Helen said...

I say definitely eat with abandon and then leave crumbs all over your shirt. Even better, talk with your mouth full to get a better spread of crumb and you could keep yourself in snacks for a week.

2:34 AM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Sylvie said...

Those look delicious, but what's a chocolate nib? They must be called something else here in the UK.
Oh and I love Flight of the Chonchords.

2:47 AM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Aran said...

Hi Molly! I am also a Tartine lover and I'm glad you went for the rochers. I love your stories and how you tell them. Talented, talented, talented.

2:49 AM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger dee said...

these sooo look dreamy. i have a confession to make - i've never actually added anything to my meringues because i'm so afraid they'll sink. silly, i know.
now, if only i can get my hands on some cocoa nibs.

the vinegar tip seems interesting too, susan in hk.

6:32 AM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Joy of Cooking said...

HI. I am also a first-time commenter but I love your blog - and your new column! What compelled me to comment was my recent foray into the world of meringues and I thought it could help. The first is that I tried the C.I. recipe and they came out perfectly even on the first try! I made both the plain and the one with chocolate and both were easy and wonderful. Then, when I tried making them at work (I bake part-time) I couldn't get the texture right- dense and flat instead of airy and poufy. These have walnuts and cinnamon in them. But we bake them at 375 for 15 min. and if you don't use that high temp. they don't cook all the way through and start to burn before the inside is done! Also, the key to the great texture is letting them sit at room temp. for about 10 min. before baking. It works! Hope this helps and I will of course continue to read...

12:25 PM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Cheryl A said...

My favourite bakery treat as a kid were the pastel meringues. I haven't had them in years and now I feel the need to bake after my egg delivery arrives later in the week... Maybe I can pass on the love to my little one. Do they work better with fresh, fresh eggs?

12:37 PM, April 08, 2008  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Those even look like mini clouds. I never like crunchy meringues but I could certainly deal with an outer crunch that has an inner fluffy component. That sounds amazing!

1:52 PM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Alexa Johnson said...

Tartine is my absolute favorite...and their passionfruit lime bavarian cake is what I would choose if I had to pick only one thing to eat for the rest of my life. My sweet husband hand carried one home for me from his last trip to SF. I carefully divided it up into the appropriate number of slices to last a full week, and then hoarded it in the back of the fridge. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find good passionfruit puree to recreate it at home!
Molly-I meant to write a week or so ago and tell you that I'd posted a little about you in my "evolution of a blogger" post. You'll have to scroll back a ways now, but I hope you enjoy it.

2:24 PM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

Why oh why do Wikipedia always show the ugliest photo they can find in explanatory food articles! Pavolvas are fantastic when done right, and yours sound delicious Molly :)

9:06 PM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, guys.

Claire, thank you! So much. And don't worry - that wasn't a novella! Trust me. I should know; I'm the one who goes on and on and on around here...

Audrey and Joy of Cooking, I'm so glad to hear that the CI recipe is good! I might have to try that next. Although now I'm pretty stuck on these...

Well, Leah, maybe YOU SHOULD COME UP HERE AND VISIT ME, and then I will teach you about time management, The Molly Way. (Assuming, of course, that I can figure out what The Molly Way is.) And we will eat pavlovas!

Ashley, I'm so glad you made the pavlovas. Did you put rose water in your rhubarb? I remember you mentioning that...

Susan, that's really interesting! I hadn't heard that. I've heard of using white vinegar in place of cream of tartar, as a stabilizer for the egg whites. (I think I read that here, and some other places too.) But maybe it can work on crispness too?

No problem, Diana. (And Sylvie!) Nibs are another name for cocoa beans that have been removed from their husks and broken into small pieces. Once roasted, they have a sophisticated bittersweet flavor and are really delicious. Be sure to buy roasted ones, though, or to at least try to taste them before you buy them. Raw ones can be awfully bitter - almost inedibly so, I find.

Joy of Cooking, so weird! I've heard just the opposite about letting meringues sit before baking! I heard that you should bake them as soon as possible, because otherwise, the structure of the egg whites (and all their little bubbles) can quickly start to break down. Weird! Anybody else have any thoughts on all this?

That's a really good question, Cheryl, and uh, you know, I'm not sure of the answer. I've heard that older eggs work better for some egg preparations, and that fresher eggs work better for others, but I can't remember which is which! Anyone? Help...

Thanks for mentioning me in your post, Alexa! I'm honored. And about this passion fruit cake, why didn't I see that?! GAH.

I know what you mean, Lisa. That photo is awful.

11:33 PM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger Shari said...

You’ve been given an “Excellent Blog Award”. See Whisk: a food blog for more information. Congratulations!

5:52 AM, April 09, 2008  
Blogger tony said...

Hi Molly,

Tartine is great! The lemon shaker pie was a delight....

I have to pass on another recipe for Pavlova which makes one large crusty cloud with a delicate soft filling. I will not even begin a discussion about NZ vs Oz but the recipe is from my friend Matt. I'm ashamed to say that until he was kind enough to pass on this recipe I had never made a pavlova! It however worked first time. You could top it with cream and fruit (kiwi fruit if feeling NZ or tamarillos or strawberries is Australian!)

"Now I sort of made up the recipe the other nite from memory. But here goes.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place 6 egg whites, 2 soup spoons of corn flour, 1 soup spoon of vanilla, 1 soup spoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of sugar in a bowl and beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Add 4 soup spoons of boiling water to mixture and then beat for a further 12 minutes. Place mixture on tray, pop in oven and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes reduce temp to 130 degrees and cook for a further 45 minutes. Then turn oven off, but do not open until the door is cold. Top with cream and fruit"

8:02 AM, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Well, my fellow cookies and cream lover, you've inspired me to step back into the meringue boat. But, first I must hunt up some chocolate nibs.

Thank you for being inspirational, as ever.

8:15 AM, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Casey said...

Molly, you comfort me by revealing you too had trouble with the Tartine rochers recipe. I've been so frustrated by it and I've been baking for a long, long time.
Now, I adore Tartine. It's a few blocks from my best friend's house, and we go there often. I always -- always-- buy some rochers to take home and often they don't survive the 40 minute drive from the city to The Peninusla.
But I cannot come close to reproducing them i my own kitchen.
A few weeks ago I tried yet again --as my chum was coming for the weekend --just as I pulled my sad little failures from the oven, he walked in with a bag of the real mccoys. For dessert that night I served beautiful fruit from the farmers' market and two cake stands: one piled with the rochers from tartine and one with my sad little plops. Amusing but frustrating.
Can't wait to try your recipe.

9:24 AM, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Leanne said...

So glad to know that I'm not the only one who has had that experience with the Tartine cookbook. Oh - and Flight of the Conchords rocks!

7:01 PM, April 09, 2008  
Anonymous Eliza said...

I wonder if these yummy things, rochers, are the same as the sweets called Brutti Ma Buonis (Ugly but Goods) in Italy? Either way, I just love that name.

11:04 PM, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Antonio Tahhan said...

Hi Molly, I've presented you with an award on my blog!! I love reading your entries and your food is always mouth-watering!
ps. I LOVE Scharffen Berger, too

7:21 AM, April 10, 2008  
Blogger pea & pear said...

Sometimes your blog inspires me to run out and buy all necessary ingredients for your recipes but today I am inspired to go out and buy a plane ticket!! I am salivating over all this talk of meringues and travel, and nibs (which I have never heard of before) You have a beautiful blog inspiring on all counts!

6:08 PM, April 10, 2008  
Blogger tiel said...

oh I love coming home. I get just as excited about returning as I do leaving. I always get a little freaked out that everything is as I left it whilst I've been a world away.

thank you for all your recent tips on some good eateries to visit in Paris and Brussels. I have just been and ventured to the likes of Patrick Roger and Pierre Hermes. what a treat!

1:52 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Naomi Devlin said...

They sound and look just wonderful - little mouthfuls of cloud, how beguiling. Beautiful writing too.

x x x

8:26 AM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous EB said...

So I guess i shouldn't tell you that I live about 1/2 block from Tartine and eat a rocher about once a week.... at least? Sorry. The Tartine cookbook is gorgeous but it really is difficult to get those recipes to do what they're supposed to do. Of course you figured out another way... cuz you're Molly... that's what you do. Nice job.

9:22 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

I've always loved meringues, but my daughter says they're deceitful. They look like they should be whipped cream, but they're crispy. I love the idea of putting nibs in. I'll bet the nibs would sell it to my husband.

12:35 PM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous Norm said...

How bizarre... I found your blog through a link on Susan's 'Wild Yeast' blog (I was looking for a recipe for Tortas de Aciete) and stumbled upon this most recent entry... I live in Ontario, but have just come back from a trip to California, where I searched out the Tartine Bakery in SFO and, on a whim, bought some Rochers. Oh My God! They were one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted!!! I asked a foodie friend on a forum that I frequent to post me the recipe, as I know that she has the Tartine Bakery cookbook, and I have been on the verge of making them all week. I will still have a go, but will bear in mind your comments and keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't brown at all. I actually preferred the almond one to the cocoa-nib one, so will try that variation I think.

11:32 AM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Kim/2 Kids said...

Nibs remind me of that lovely little concoction produced by Fran's Chocolates once year. They were little leftover bits of the delectable Gold Bar. They have never been produced again. Bummer.

8:58 PM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Matt said...

Do you think the outcome would be different with a swiss (or italian) meringue, instead of the french one? I've never made meringues with chewy insides (I always dry them out completely), so I wonder if it makes a difference. I also add lots of stuff, so I need the stability of the swiss meringue.

What I add to a swiss meringue:, replace some of the sugar with orange blossom honey and orange flower water, and add toasted/chopped pistachios. If you're feeling frisky, you could also add some cocoa powder or melted chocolate.

10:57 PM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Robbyn said...

Ive often read about pavlovas, but have never tasted one.

We love your blog and are really sorry it's taken us so long to add you to our blogroll...we did in a recent post at our site; hope that's ok!

12:34 AM, April 13, 2008  
Blogger Patrick said...


I found my first link to your Blog today!! A food forum I play on sent me to you for a tortilla recipe. I know this is not on topic, but you're awesome!

Best of luck from Japan,
Patrick, your former lackey

4:58 AM, April 13, 2008  
Blogger jenny said...

EVERY recipe I've ever made from the Tartine cookbook has had a serious problem with it--wrong baking time, wrong temperature, unbaked cake centers. It's enough to make me think that mistakes were purposely made. I've given up on using it, which is a shame, as it is so tempting. As for cocoa nibs in meringues, I just made one of my favorite cookies, from the Dorie Greenspan Baking book, the the cafe volcano cookies, and added cocoa nibs to the batter. Outstanding. Make them: you won't regret it.

12:01 PM, April 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,
I've just started reading this blog. When I saw this recipe I started salivating. I made these yesterday with almonds (I couldn't find any nibs), unsweetened whipped cream, and a black rasberry sauce. They were awesome!
Thanks for the recipe!

12:45 PM, April 13, 2008  
Blogger LN- Nickers and Ink said...

Love the imagery in the opening of this piece. Gorgeous food photos too!

By the way, the image at the top of the blog did not load on my system. (The problem may reside in my own computer, perhaps?)

Lovely blog.

Blessings, Linda

5:08 PM, April 13, 2008  
Anonymous michelle @ TNS said...

you know, i've always thought that i just don't like meringue that much, so i've stayed away not just from cookies but from pavlovas and the like. but now i'm wondering if i just don't like it as cookies. maybe eaten with a fork, topped with some cream and berries, my tune would change?


6:08 PM, April 13, 2008  
Anonymous Eileen said...

What you said about coming home after a trip is exactly how I feel. It's so good to go away because you appreciate what you have at home so much more when you get back. And I love TARTINE's book. Everything I've ever made from it has been the best! Unfortunately I have never been to the bakery in S.F. :-(

Eileen (passions to pastry)

6:50 AM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Thank you, Shari! So sweet.

Tony, I love the idea of "one large crusty cloud." It would be a showstopper at a dinner party, don't you think? Thank you for sharing Matt's recipe.

Casey, I wish I had a friend who would show up at my door with a bag of rochers. SO JEALOUS.

Eliza, that's such a great name! I think they're very similar, yes, to rochers, although the technique may be a bit different...

Thanks, Antonio!

And thank you, pea & pear! I'm blushing.

Norm, I hope you'll keep me posted on how yours turn out. I've got my fingers crossed for you...

Matt, your meringues sound incredible. But as for Swiss / Italian meringue vs. the French kind, hmm, I have to say that I don't have much experience with the former, so I'm really not sure. I know that the cream of tartar and cornstarch in this recipe lends a certain amount of stability, but I'm afraid I have no sense of how it compares to the stability of a cooked (Swiss / Italian) meringue. Actually, wait - come to think of it, the recipe for the Tartine rochers was a Swiss meringue. But the end result was so iffy for other reasons that I can't really speak to its stability....

PATRICK! Holy crap, what a small world! It's so, so good to hear from you. I remember that you were talking about Japan when I last saw you, but I didn't know that you had actually gone! I hope you're loving it. (And I'm so glad that you're not having to spend your days doing review lists and mass mailings for me anymore. Sorry about that. I know it sucked.)

Thanks for the tip, Jenny! I love Dorie's books.

You're welcome, Anonymous. So glad you liked them!

Thank you, Linda.

9:52 AM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger Alexia said...

As a long time lurker, I wanted to let you know I LOVE your blog. You make me feel empowered to bake things like these cookies...and watch Flight of the Concords.

12:35 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger Amy said...

Oh, Molly. You know how to make me long for food that I can't have unless I take a trip...That Tartine is something else (those wispy little crispy chocolate cookies they have might make me get on a plane tomorrow). Too bad the Tartine cookbook can't hold up to their wares -- maybe it's intentional, so they can stay in business! In any case, your pavlovas sound much better anyway. I just dug the cocoa nibs out of my drawer wondering whatever I was going to do with them -- now I know!

I hope you're well!!!

3:39 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger Morgan Lee said...

Molly, I feel very lucky to live in San Francisco...and it's true, Seattle doesn't have Tartine...BUT! What Seattle DOES have that San Francisco does NOT is: Theo...

And Theo makes some amazing cacao nibs that would have been lovely for your recipe!


7:09 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

We don't have "nibs" here in Australia so its hard for me to imagine. I tried googling but didn't get far. Sounds good tho!

10:20 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger LadyJayPee said...

The beginning of your post reminded me of this quote: "Travel is how we notice and make good on the magic that we walk past in our daily lives." (Pico Iyer) Pavlova's been on my list for awhile to try, and you're helping me get closer to the goal. Thank you!

8:36 AM, April 17, 2008  
Blogger Brilynn said...

Meringues and Flight of the Conchords, does it get any better?

I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face...

7:00 AM, April 18, 2008  
Blogger tannaz said...

these just came out of the oven (with the requisite passover substitutions: potato starch and vinegar for cornstarch and cream of tartar), and i snagged a baby one: they are so far beyond your typical meringue that it's laughable. those nibs are magical. thanks!!

4:16 PM, April 19, 2008  
Anonymous sarah said...

I made some meringues recently and then decided they were even better and silly good as smores put on top of melted chocolate on a graham cracker. Now, chocolate inside! I'll have to try it.

7:22 AM, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Alanna @ A Veggie Venture said...

Just wanted to let you know that your post is featured on BlogHer, Techniques to Improve Blog Writing! ~ AK

7:50 AM, May 04, 2008  
Blogger amisha said...

i agree completely about traveling and coming home. it's so strange at first, and then it's like discovering everything you love all over again.
and i just tried cocoa nibs for the first time a few days ago. i kept thinking, where have these been all my life?? nibs wrapped up in a creamy cloud of goodness would be even better, i think. xo

5:15 PM, May 10, 2008  
Blogger Melinda said...

This post is late in the game but here goes. . .I've made the almond rochers from the Tartine cookbook several times and they've turned out nice. I also make them twice as large-- closer in size to the bakery version at Tartine. I haven't tried to replicate Tartine's cocoa nib version. I wonder if there is a trick to it, something they do differently than with the almond ones. The only other thing I can say about them is that I use very fresh eggs from my chickens, sometimes the eggs are still warm. I have found fresh eggs make the best meringue.

10:44 PM, June 23, 2008  
Blogger Ryan said...

Hi Molly- this is now the 2nd comment I've left in one day...I found your site today and here it is nearly midnight in Wisconsin and I can't stop reading...and dreaming of what I'll bake first thing in the morning. I had to comment b/c I too have had nothing but trouble with every single recipe I've tried in the Tartine book...very discouraging and I've been a home baker for years. Thanks for posting this recipe b/c I've been wanting to make good rochers ever since a trip to provence with our boys a few years back- they were delicious and you can't find them here in Wisconsin! Thanks, too, for a very enjoyable evening of reading and salivating over your recipes! -stephanie

9:55 PM, April 20, 2009  
Anonymous vonmoishe said...

I made the rochers twice the weekend, once with almonds and once with chocolate chips. I've never attempted any Tartine recipes before.

It worked absolutely fine both times. You just have to make sure to beat the hell out of the meringue in the stand mixer (5+ minutes on high speed). It should be super thick and glossy, and the meringure should be almost impossible to shake off the whisk. That's when it's done.

10:39 AM, May 11, 2009  
Anonymous Sprinzette said...

Many moons after you wrote this, I've just made a variant of these, and they are perfect.

Thank you for riding me of my meringue angst.

10:56 AM, September 05, 2010  
Blogger black.of.the.woods said...

Molly, your writing brings me so much joy! Thanks for your humor, your reflectiveness and your love of food. I keep sending your posts to a dear friend of mine who lives in Seattle, especially when you mention restaurants and other food landmarks.

8:20 AM, January 30, 2012  
Blogger Rachel Page said...

This is a totally tempting recipe and I can’t wait to make it.

7:35 PM, February 10, 2015  

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