• Serves: 6-8
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium

I remember the first recipe I made when I graduated from a dinky hand mixer to a shiny new stand mixer, it was a Pavlova. That magnificent baked meringue dessert which combines a crispy exterior and soft, light, marshmallowy centre. Despite its exquisite appearance, it’s actually really easy to make and even if you make a mess, still tastes (and looks) awesome.

It’s a perfect candidate for Christmas dessert. Not only is it a show-stopping crowd pleaser, but you can also prepare it in advance and add the toppings just before you’re ready to serve. One less thing to stress about if you’re feeding friends and family is always a huge plus!

I baked this Pavlova in the shape of a wreath as it looks so festive, but it is a little fragile so make sure you handle with care when transferring from the baking tray onto a serving platter. Although I’ve decorated with a selection of berries, you can also serve this with whipped cream, chopped nuts and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce, which is –insanely delicious.

 

here's what you'll need...

For the meringue:

  • 180g egg whites (6 large eggs)
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 3 tsp cornflour, sifted
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)

Pavlova_ingredients

To fill and decorate:

  • 500ml double cream
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 500g mixed berries (strawberries, red and black currants, blackberries etc, defrosted if frozen)
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate

pavlova_decorations_if_needed

For the berry coulis:

  • 100g raspberries, strawberries or mixed berries
  • 50g sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp water

tip

You can easily use shop-bought coulis or melted chocolate if you prefer.

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Christmas Pavlova Wreath 2

 

slider 2

set oven temp: 120C/Gas mark 1/2

here's how it's done...

  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 120C (100C fan). Use a 23cm cake tin to draw a circle on a large piece of baking paper. Turn the paper over and place on a large, heavy baking tray.

    Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer (making sure it’s spotlessly clean or the meringue may flop). Lightly whisk together with a hand whisk until frothy.

    step_1

  • 2

    Start whisking at high speed. Once the meringue forms soft peaks, start adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.

    step_2

  • 3

    Once all the sugar has been added, stop the mixer and sift the cornflour over the meringue. Add the vanilla and continue whisking at high speed until the meringue is glossy, forms stiff peaks and doesn’t feel gritty if you rub it between your fingers.

    step_3

  • 4

    Spoon large dollops of the meringue onto the prepared tray, following the traced circle so that you form a ‘wreath’.

    step_5

  • 5

    Bake your meringue wreath for 1 1/2 hours. Don’’t open the oven during that time!

    Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave the meringue in the oven until completely cool.

     

  • 6

    Whisk the cream, vanilla and icing sugar until you have soft peaks.

    To make the coulis, put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, muddle the berries with a potato masher or end of a rolling pin and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon. Cool before using.

    Spread or pipe the cream over the wreath and then top with your berries and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with your coulis and serve.

    Pavlova_detail_1

 
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By Lucy Parissi on 08.12.14

Guest Contributor

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