Baby Cocoa Meringues with Chocolate Cream and Candied Coconut

Close out your next dinner party with these dainty, one-bite treats from Ireland’s Ballymaloe.

  • Serves

    Makes 25 sandwiched meringues

  • Cook

    4 hours 30 minutes


By J.R. Ryall

Published on December 19, 2022

These dainty chocolate meringues can be made any time of year, pairing nicely with fresh berries in summertime and citrus fruit in winter. JR Ryall, executive pastry chef at County Cork, Ireland’s Ballymaloe House, likes to sandwich the airy cookies around a bittersweet chocolate cream filling to balance the sweetness of the meringue. Use a good-quality dark (semisweet) chocolate with 75 percent cocoa solids, which will give the cream a nice depth of flavor. Rolling the sandwiches in candied coconut adds to their playful appearance. Be sure to use finely ground, unsweetened desiccated coconut, which is sometimes also labeled “macaroon coconut”.  The meringues and candied coconut may be made and stored separately in dry, airtight containers for up to a week ahead of time. Make the chocolate cream and assemble the sandwiches immediately before serving.

This recipe is adapted from Ballymaloe Desserts by JR Ryall (Phaidon 2022).


For the meringue:

  • 2 extra-large egg whites
  • ¾ cup (4 oz.) confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

For the candied coconut:

  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. (3 oz.) superfine sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (3¾ oz.) desiccated coconut

For the chocolate cream:

  • 1½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (⅓ cup)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, divided, plus extra to serve
  • Confectioners sugar, for dusting


Step 1

Make the meringue: Preheat the oven to 265°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks, 10–11 minutes.

Step 3

Sift the cocoa powder directly over the meringue and, using a silicone spatula, immediately fold it in. (Once the cocoa has been added, the meringue will begin to deflate, so move quickly.) Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch circular tip, then pipe the meringue onto two of the lined baking sheets (you should get about fifty 1-inch drops). Bake, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through cooking, until the meringues are set and easily lift away from the baking paper, about 2½ hours. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make the candied coconut: Turn the oven down to 250°F.

Step 5

To a small pot over medium heat, add the sugar and ⅓ cup cold water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut until it is thoroughly hydrated, then transfer the mixture to the third lined baking sheet.

Step 6

Bake, gently stirring the coconut occasionally, until the syrup has evaporated and the coconut has taken on a very pale tan color (do not let it brown), 45–50 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, roll a clean rolling pin firmly over the candied coconut to crush any large clumps.

Step 7

Make the chocolate cream: In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, then remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of cream. If the mixture is still hot, set aside, stirring occasionally, until it is just barely warm to the touch.

Step 8

Meanwhile, whip the remaining ¾ cups cream until soft peaks form. Working in 3 stages, gently fold the whipped cream into the melted chocolate mixture. (If this is not done gradually, the cold whipped cream may cause the chocolate to seize up.) Transfer the chocolate cream to a clean piping bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip. 

Step 9

Immediately before serving, assemble the cookies: Pipe the chocolate cream onto the bottom of one meringue and sandwich with another. Roll the edge of each sandwich in the candied coconut so it sticks to the sides of the chocolate cream. Lightly dust the meringues with confectioners sugar and arrange on a serving platter or stand. Serve immediately, with extra whipped cream, if desired.

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