It’s nearly Christmas, which means it’s time to start indulging. I mean, I started a few months back, but that’s just the way I roll. So for those who haven’t already begun, then this pavlova is a good place to start. And whilst it may look like it requires quite a lot of effort, in actual fact, it’s a pretty easy festive dessert to make!
Before this, I’d never made a pavlova. In fact, I’m not sure I’d ever attempted any kind of meringue whatsoever. In my mind, I thought it was going to be a really tricky thing to get right, but in reality it’s actually not too hard. Plus you can make it ahead of time, which is always a result. Especially during the festive period when all you want to do is cosy up with a boozy hot chocolate, and watch endless Christmas films and trashy TV.
A great centrepiece for that all important Christmas lunch, or maybe a cheeky treat in the lead up to the main event. Why not give this tasty wreath shaped pav a go this year!
For the pavlova:
4 large egg whites
150g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
Half a tsp cornflour
Half a tsp vanilla extract
For the topping:
400ml double cream
2 tbsps icing sugar, sifted
200g chopped strawberries
Grated dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to gas mark 3/160C or 140C for fan assisted ovens. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and draw a 23cm circle on the paper. Draw a smaller circle inside the 23cm circle and set to one side.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar a little at a time, whisking on max speed until the whites are stiff and glossy.
- Gently whisk in the cornflour and vanilla extract and then get ready to make your wreath.
- Carefully spoon the meringue between the 2 circles on the greaseproof paper to make a wreath shape. It doesn’t have to be totally even, but try to get a bit of height to the meringue when dolloping on.
- Put into the centre of your preheated oven and then immediately reduce the temperature to gas mark /140C or 120C for fan assisted ovens. Bake for an hour and then turn the oven off leaving the pavlova in there for at least an hour. For best results leave overnight.
- When your pavlova is ready to decorate, whip the double cream with the sifted icing sugar until just stiff. Spoon on the top of your cooled pavlova and then arrange the fresh fruit on top. Finish with a grating of dark chocolate!