Easy Easter nests from baking extraordinaire Juliet Sear
4 medium egg whites, at room temperature
200g white caster sugar
1 tsp best quality vanilla extract
100g white chocolate, melted
400ml double cream
50g icing sugar
A selection of edible flowers and mini chocolate eggs, to decorate
Large open star nozzle (I use a Wilton 1M)
Electric hand whisk
Large bowl, for whisking
Baking trays, lined with parchment
Preheat the oven to 120C. In a clean dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks with an electric whisk—or do it by hand, but this will take longer. Once you have stiff peaks, slowly add the sugar spoon by spoon, beating well in between each addition until glossy and completely incorporated. Finally, whisk through the vanilla extract.
Place the star nozzle into the piping bag and add the meringue. To create a rose-like circular shape, hold the piping bag vertically directly over the tray and begin piping in the centre, then wind outwards from the centre to create a spiral. Stop squeezing the bag after a couple of rounds and pull the bag away from the tray. Repeat the circles until the tray is filled, creating a wreath-style Easter nest design.
Bake at 120C for 20 mins and then turn the oven down to 100C and cook for a further 40-60 mins until the meringues have completely dried out. Turn off the oven and leave to cool in the oven until ready to pipe on.
To decorate, brush the nests with a little melted white chocolate, fill with the whipped cream sweetened with the icing sugar and decorate with chocolate eggs and flowers. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Juliet Sear