Looking for chocolate swirled meringue nests, filled with chocolate cream and cherry compote? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Meringues are probably my all-time favourite thing to make, and I think I’ve worked out why. Most people have this misguided idea that making your own meringues is both really difficult, and a tonne of effort. Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise.
Although don’t go letting everyone else know, because making things that other people think are really hard, but actually are incredibly easy, is such a good feeling. Am I right?
If you’ve got a stand mixer, then meringues are even easier, as you can just leave the machine to do all the hard work whilst you just sit back and catch up on Emmerdale.
Talking of doing things other than what I should be doing, I’ve been so busy/sick lately that I just haven’t had the time (or energy) to blog about anything at all. Only one post in February is not the dream. Still, I did also manage to get in the kitchen for Kate’s birthday and throw together my almond raspberry drizzle cake. Bit of a weird birthday cake choice, yes, but it’s her fave.
But back to meringue.
The nests themselves are a base of the same chocolate meringue I used for my Ferrero Rocher Pavlova, but with added dark chocolate swirled in for good measure. Don’t they just look gorgeous? And so easy! You would think that the chocolate would melt off the meringue in the oven, but somehow it just doesn’t. Must be magic.
I tried adding cherry compote to the meringue itself, but I was just left with super-sticky and horribly flat little nests. Don’t do it kids. And for meringue making tips, check out this post from last year.
I think these little chocolate marbled nests would be pretty much perfect with any filling, so give them a go next time you have some double cream to use up. Add some summer berries, or just go wild and drizzle with more melted chocolate and caramel sauce.
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 50g (2oz) dark or bittersweet chocolate
- 125g (2/3 cup) caster sugar (US granulated sugar)
- ¼ tablespoon cornflour or cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 180ml (¾ cup) double or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar (US powdered or confectioners sugar)
- 150g (about 6 tablespoons) cherry compote
- 4 fresh cherries (optional)
- Dark or bittersweet chocolate curls
- Preheat the oven to 130°C / 265°F (110°C fan) and line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper or baking parchment.
- Grab a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, and make sure it is free from any grease. I like to rub the bowl with white wine vinegar or lemon juice to make sure it is completely grease-free, as this will help to ensure that your egg whites whisk up well. Place the egg whites into the bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Whisk on medium until the mixture has turned frothy, and then turn up the speed to maximum and whisk until the egg whites are white and fairly stiff.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, or in a double boiler, and set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, mix the caster sugar, cornflour, and cocoa powder together. Use a hand whisk to get rid of any cocoa lumps. Add the cocoa and sugar mix to the egg whites, and continue to whisk for about 5 more minutes, until there are no sugar grains remaining. You can test this by rubbing a little bit of the mixture between your fingers.
- When the meringue is done, use a piping bag to pipe the meringue into four nests. The easiest way to do this is to pipe four disks (the bottom of the nests), and then pipe the edges on top. Take the slightly cooled melted chocolate, and swirl into the piped meringue nests using a fork. See the pictures in the post above to see the effect you are aiming for.
- Bake the meringue nests in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door to check on the nests whilst they are baking. Once the 1 hour and 30 minutes is up, turn off the oven and leave the nests in the oven with the door closed for at least an additional 1 hour. You can then remove the nests from the oven and leave to finish cooling on the tray (if necessary).
- When the meringue nests are completely cool, it is time to make the chocolate cream filling. Whip the double cream, cocoa powder, and icing sugar up to stiff peaks in a large bowl. This can easily be done with a balloon whisk, as the chocolate and sugar make the cream whip up much more quickly than usual. Spoon the chocolate cream into the centre of the meringue nests, and make a well in the centre to hold the cherry compote. Add a tablespoon or so of he compote to each nest, and top with a fresh cherry and some chocolate curls.
- The pavlovas are best served on the day or the day after they are made. Keep the pavlovas in the fridge before serving. The baked and unfilled meringue nests should stay fresh for up to 2 weeks if kept in an airtight tin (not in the fridge). You can then make the cream and fill on the day of serving.