Warning: The following post mentions the C word, Christmas, because let’s face it…we’re all a little bit excited for the return of SANTAAAAA.
What is Christmas without an abundance of chocolate? This extra indulgent twist on a classic dessert is the perfect showstopper for the festive season and guaranteed to impress the hoard of family members.
Known for usually being covered in lashings of delicious fruit, I decided to give Pavlova a bit of a makeover by incorporating one of my favourite bakes, Millionaire Shortbread. This delicious biscuit always makes an appearance over Christmas – usually in Trifle form – so I opted for something a little different this year especially after I was asked to contribute towards the Wren’s Christmas Kitchen Campaign which inspires bloggers to create delicious festive recipes, with a twist.
Whilst I’ve strayed from the tradition in terms of the base and toppings, this dessert is still really simple to make – you just need to have time and maybe a little patience. The meringue itself takes 1 hour 30 mins to make and the same to cool in the oven but what you’re left with is a chocolatey and slightly nutty tasting meringue, packed with a creamy filling and sweet, sweet toppings.
Ingredients (serves 8-10):
For the Pavlova –
- 4 large free range eggs (whites only)
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
For the toppings –
- 300g double cream
- Caramel sauce (homemade or shop bought)
- 60g melted chocolate
- 4 shortbread biscuits, crushed
- Gold sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C and line a baking tray wide enough to hold a Pavlova the size of an average dinner late. To make the Pavlova you will need a free standing mixer with a balloon whisk attachment. Ensure both the whisk and mixing bowl of your mixer are free of grease and then add the egg whites and white wine vinegar to the bowl. Whisk on a medium setting until bubbles begin to form and the egg whites look slightly foamy, then turn to a high setting so the egg whites stiffen and turn white (this should take around 5-6 minutes)
- Whilst your mixer is doing its thing, add the cocoa powder, sugar and corn flour to a bowl and stir with a spoon/whisk. Return the speed to a medium setting then gradually spoon in the cocoa/sugar mixture to the egg whites – once all the mixture has been added, increase your mixture to the high setting and leave to form a glossy, chocolate meringue (this should take around 8 minutes)
- To check your meringue mixture is ready, return your mixer to a low setting and rub a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger to ensure all sugar granules have dissolved. If they haven’t, just give your mixture a further mix for another minute or two
- Spoon your ready meringue mixture onto the lined baking tray creating a circular nest then place in your preheated oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes – don’t be tempted to sneak a peak at your creation because the change in temperature causes cracks. Once the cooking time is up, turn off your oven and leave the Pavlova to cool inside the oven
- Just before your Pavlova is ready to be removed from the oven or before you intend to serve, whip the double cream with a handheld or electric whisk until it reaches soft peaks. Spoon into the middle of your Pavlova then finish with lashings of caramel, chocolate and the crushed shortbread biscuits.
ENJOY! Nic x
Note: Pavlova’s are best consumed on the day of baking but will otherwise keep one day after.