Meringue Nests with Espresso Cream & Syrup
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 servings
For the meringue nests:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 150g (5.2 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
For the coffee syrup:
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) strong espresso (about 2 shots)
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) pure maple syrup
For the coffee cream:
  • 150g (5.2 oz) mascarpone
  • 150g (5.2 oz) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon coffee syrup (see recipe above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate:
  • Grated dark chocolate
For the meringue nests:
  1. Heat oven to 110C (230F). Place baking parchment on a large baking sheet. Using a pencil, draw 6-8 circles 3-4 inches round onto the parchment (I made 6 fairly big nests). Turn the parchment upside down on the baking sheet - you should still see the drawn circles which you will use as a guide.
  2. Add the egg whites and lemon juice into the clean bowl of a food mixer and whisk attachment. Beat at a low speed until the whites form soft peaks, then start adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time, incorporating completely before adding the next. Whisk until all the sugar has been added and the whites are stiff and glossy.
  3. Spoon the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a plain or star nozzle. Pipe concentric circles, starting in the middle of the circle until you reach the outside of your drawn circle then, in a continuous action, come up over the meringue edge and pipe one or two rings around the outer edge to create the nest walls (I used a large star nozzle and piped one ring of meringue).
  4. Bake for 1-3/4 - 2 hrs until they are crisp and lift off the paper easily. Leave to cool completely in the oven. NB: The meringues can be stored in a sealed container for a few days. If the weather is humid, place a tablespoon of baking soda in a small dish - it will absorb the moisture.
For the coffee syrup:
  1. Place the espresso, liqueur and maple syrup in a small saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-6 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.* Refrigerate to cool completely.
For the coffee cream:
  1. In a bowl, stir together mascarpone and cream until combined. Add icing sugar, coffee syrup and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
To assemble:
  1. Just before serving, place coffee cream in a piping bag and pipe a swirl of cream into the meringue nests. Swirl the coffee syrup either over of the coffee cream, or in a circular pattern on the plate (as I did). Scatter the grated dark chocolate over top and serve.
*Should you find you overcook the syrup and it starts to set like toffee, put it back on low heat with a little water, stirring until smooth. Chill as before.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at