Easter Meringue Nests
This a real show stopper if you are having people around perfect for pudding or afternoon tea. It’s also a lighter option to follow from the heavy meal you will no doubt be eating – I know I will be!
- 4 egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp of corn flour
- 150 ml of double cream
- 1 heaped tbsp of cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp of agave syrup
- 100g of dark chocolate
- a selection of eggs and strawberries to serve
- 1 tsp of oil
- Kitchen aid/ electric whisk and glass bowl
- Glass bowl and saucepan
- Piping bag, star shaped nozzle and plain nozzle
- Baking tray lined with baking parchment
- Preheat your oven to 115/ 100 fan/ gas mark 2
- The best way to separate eggs is to have 3 bowls rather than two. So you crack your eggs over a clean bowl and then move the egg yolks and whites as you go. This ensures that you don’t contaminate your clean egg whites with yolk accidentally if you break a yolk.
- When you are whisking the egg whites, make sure your bowl is extremely clean as otherwise the whites won’t whisk properly. If you are unsure you can always rub the flesh side of half a lemon around the bowl.
- Whisk the whites until they are very thick and you can turn the bowl upside down and the eggs don’t move.
- Once you have got to this stage, spoon in the sugar on a medium speed one at a time leaving a couple of moments in between until all of the sugar is combined. Finally add in your corn flour and white wine vinegar before finally whisking your mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into your piping bag with the star nozzle attached.
- Draw eight circles starting from the centre of each one and working your way out doing an extra layer on the out of the circle to create depth of the nest.
- Put your nest in the oven for about an hour and a half and then turn the oven off and leave the meringue in there for further hour.
- Whilst the meringue is cooking melt the chocolate on a bain marie (or if you are very carefully do it in the microwave)
- To make the chocolate nest for the centre, blow the balloon to the appropriate size so it will sit well in the centre. Next clean and dry the balloon then lightly oil the top so the balloon will be able to peel away nicely when popped. You can create the bowl either by piping the chocolate, dripping it down or drizzling it. The key is just to make sure that it’s thick enough to hold its shape and the weight of the eggs which are going to go in there at a later date. You may find balancing it in a cup the easiest way to set it.
- Once your meringues are out of the oven you simply need to make the cream – do this by mixing the cream, cocoa and agave together on a high speed until it thickens.
- Finally to present! Pipe on the chocolate cream into the centre of the meringue nests and arrange the eggs in a decorative manner. Finally to finish off your nest pulling the knot make a tiny hole so that the air goes out slowly as otherwise you can crack the bowl if its popped too quickly. Place it in the centre and voila!