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Dark Chocolate, Orange and Whiskey Pavlova Nests Recipe by Darina Coffey

This pavlova recipe proves good things come in small packages – dark chocolate meringue disks topped with whiskey-kissed cream and sticky sweet candied orange make for the most insanely delicious dessert. You can also use this recipe to make one large pavlova if you like.

Serves 10-12


300g caster sugar
6 egg whites
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp cocoa powder (Green and Black’s Organic works best)
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
1 tsp Irel/Camp coffee extract

Candied Oranges
350ml water
200g caster sugar
4 oranges

Whiskey Cream
350ml single cream
25ml Whiskey (I use Jameson)
1 vanilla pod

3 oranges, peeled and segmented
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a two baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer to soft peaks and beat in sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny, you should be able to hold the bowl over your head!
3. Sieve in the cocoa powder and add the vinegar, coffee extract and finely chopped chocolate. Very gently fold this mixture until combined, being careful not to knock the air out.
4. With a tablespoon, drop round mounds of the meringue mix on to the baking sheets.
5. Place the trays in the oven, close the door and immediately reduce the temperature to 150°C and cook for 30 minutes or until the outside is crisp but the centre feels still slightly wobbly when prodded.
6. Leave to cool completely.

Candied Oranges
1. Thinly slice oranges into disks.
2. Bring the sugar and water to the boil without stirring and drop the orange slices in.
3. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through.
4. Remove slices and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Increase the heat and boil the remaining liquid until reduced to a sticky syrup.
6. Remove from the heat and reserve for serving.

Whiskey Cream
1. Scrape out your vanilla pod and add with your cream to a large bowl.
2. Add the whiskey.
3. Whip to soft peaks.


1. Melt the remaining 50g of chocolate in the microwave.
2. Top the cooled meringue nests with cream, segmented oranges and candied orange slices and drizzle with syrup and melted chocolate.



Darina CoffeyGrowing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that (and greed) as the ultimate motivators, I quickly realised that home-baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law I undertook a PhD, but a preference for cookbooks to textbooks persisted. As a (self-confessed!) demon in the kitchen, I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, which fuelled my desire to set my focus on food in a serious way. Working with The Taste allows me to satiate this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting. Follow me as I share my food adventures and hopefully inspire others to indulge their passion for cooking and food in the process!

Darina Coffey Darina Coffey
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