These meringue nests are so sweet. The meringue is hollowed out to create a little pocket inside, then swirled with chocolate. It's baked long and slow until it's crisp and dried with a chewy center.
The little hollows are filled with whipped cream, and shredded coconut, and topped with mini chocolate Easter eggs. It's the perfect Easter treat.
The meringue nests themselves can be made a few days in advance and they store well in an airtight container. Once you're ready to serve, simply whip the cream and fill the nests!
For this recipe, you will need -
- Large egg whites - at room temperature.
- Sugar - Granulated sugar or caster sugar can be used. Caster sugar is a bit easier as it's a much finer granule and will dissolve easier.
- Cornstarch - Helps to avoid a leaking meringue.
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice - creates a more stable mixture.
- Vanilla extract or paste - Brings extra flavor.
- A pinch of salt - a flavor enhancer.
- Semi-sweet dark chocolate - Choose a good quality chocolate bar with 50-60% cocoa solids.
- Heavy cream / Whipping cream - whipped until light and fluffy, it's what cushions the little Easter eggs in the nest.
- Shredded coconut - makes it look a little more like a nest.
- Mini Easter eggs - An obvious must for this Easter treat.
The easter meringue nests are made from meringue, which is beaten egg whites and sugar. The egg whites are beaten for a long time, alongside granulated sugar until they become stiff and glossy. They will more than quadruple in volume. Then a little cornstarch, vinegar, salt, and vanilla are added.
The cornstarch stops the meringues from leaking, while the vinegar creates a more stable meringue. The vanilla and salt are flavor enhancers.
You need an electric mixer for this job, either a handheld one or a stand mixer. It takes a lot of beating until stiff peaks form, and the sugar in the meringue dissolves.
Egg whites need to be whipped in a clean bowl with no traces of fats in there or egg yolk.
When separating the egg whites from the whole egg, do one egg at a time into a small bowl. Once one egg white has been separated, tip this into your mixing bowl, then continue with the next egg.
Doing it one egg at a time saves you from having to start again with all the eggs if you accidentally drop a little egg yolk into the whites!
The chocolate swirls
The chocolate swirls are created with real dark chocolate, swirled into the pillowy meringue. The meringue is shaped and scooped first, then a little chocolate is swirled into it.
You don't want to swirl it so much that it gets completely mixed into the meringue. It's nice to see the marbled swirl effects.
Forming the Easter meringue nests
The meringue is scooped with a spoon, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use the back of the spoon to hollow out the middles of the nests. This is what will later be filled with whipped cream and mini eggs. You can also pipe them with a piping bag fitted with a large tip if you like, but a spoon is easier.
Once the nests have been formed, swirl in the dark chocolate.
Meringue cookies need to bake long and slow. Enough to crisp them up and dry them out, but not at a temperature that will cause the meringue to brown up. Once they're baking, don't open the oven or they could collapse. Once finished baking, turn off the oven and let them cool down to room temperature in the oven.
The meringue will crisp up nicely this way and will store for up to 4 days in an airtight container. This makes this a great make-ahead dessert.
Preheat the oven to 110°C/230°F regular oven.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring after each time. Set this aside to cool.
Separate 5 eggs and place the egg whites in a clean large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk the egg whites until they become foamy, for about one minute. Add in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
Keep beating on high until the egg whites are thick, smooth, glossy, and hold stiff peaks. If you've used caster sugar when you rub some between you shouldn't feel sugar granules anymore. If you're using granulated sugar you may still feel a small amount but the majority should be dissolved.
Mix in the cornstarch, vinegar, vanilla, and salt.
Forming the nests
Take two baking sheets and add little spots of meringue in all 4 corners of each sheet. Line each sheet with parchment paper. The spots of meringue will work as glue to keep the sheets in place.
Scoop 6 blobs of meringue onto each baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to hollow out the middles to create nests.
Drizzle a little chocolate over each nest. Use a skewer to swirl the chocolate into the meringue, pushing out the sides of the meringue to keep the 'walls' of the nest.
Bake the meringues for 1 hour and 15 minutes and don't open the oven during this. Once baked, turn off the oven and let the meringues cool in there for at least two hours until crisp.
Once ready to serve, in a medium bowl, use electric beaters to whip the cream until medium peaks form.
Spoon the whipped cream onto each meringue. Sprinkle with some shredded coconut and press into 3-4 mini eggs.
Once the cream has been put on the meringues, they are best eaten within 3-4 hours. The meringues without cream can last up to 4 days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- 80g (2.8 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- 250g (1 ¼ cups) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- Pinch of salt
- 250ml (1 cup) heavy cream or whipping cream
- 40g (¼ cup) shredded coconut
- Mini Easter eggs
- Preheat the oven to 110°C/230°F regular oven.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring after each time. Set this aside to cool.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and place the egg whites in a clean large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Whisk the egg whites until they become foamy, for about one minute.
- Begin to add in the sugar a little at a time. Keep beating on high speed until the egg whites are thick, smooth, glossy, and hold stiff peaks. If you've used caster sugar, you shouldn't feel sugar granules anymore when you rub some between. If you're using granulated sugar, you may still feel a small amount, but the majority should be dissolved.
- Mix in the cornstarch, lemon, vanilla, and salt.
- Take two baking trays and add little meringue spots in each sheet's four corners. Line each tray with parchment paper. The spots of meringue will work as glue to keep the paper in place.
- Scoop six blobs of meringue onto each baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to hollow out the middles to create nests. Drizzle a little chocolate over each nest. Use a skewer to swirl the chocolate into the meringue, pushing out the sides of the meringue to keep the 'walls' of the nest.
- Bake the meringues for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and don't open the oven during this. Once baked, turn off the oven and let the meringues cool for at least two hours until cooled.
- In a medium bowl, use electric beaters to whip the cream until medium peaks form.
- Spoon the whipped cream onto each meringue. Sprinkle with some shredded coconut and press into 3-4 mini eggs.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g