This is a great dessert for a little gathering as it can be finished in advance but still has the wow factor. There are a few steps involved - but each is very manageable. The pavlova can be made ahead of time and wrapped in cling film and frozen or kept in an airtight container. It has the wow factor!
3 large free range egg whites
200 gr granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. corn flour
1 tsp. white vinegar
- Preheat oven to 200 C
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Draw two circles 18to 20 cm on the underside of the paper to help guide you later.
- For the meringue place the egg whites in a large clean bowl of an electric mixer and whisk them until they just form stiff peaks (it’s important not to over-whisk the egg whites because, if you do, they will start to collapse).
- Now start to whisk in the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until all the sugar is in.
- Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth, thick and glossy.
- Next whisk in the vanilla extract and the vinegar.
- Finally fold in the corn flour.
- Using a piping bag or largish serving spoon scoop out spoonfuls of the mix onto the tray. Creating two disks.
- If you have a little over you can pipe some mini meringue kisses
- Turn the oven down to 150 C, put in the Pavlova
- Cook for about one hour until firm on the outside and soft in the middle.
- Leave in the oven with it switched off for another 30 minutes if you don’t think they are dry enough.
100gr blanched peanuts (salted are fine too)
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray.
- Put the sugar a tbsp. of water and peanuts in a small pot and cook over medium heat.
- Move the peanuts about with something small like a chopstick, and shake and swirl the pan to move the sugar so it caramelizes evenly.
- Cook until the caramel goes past golden to a shade darker, you will also smell the change.
- Pour out onto the tray - separating the peanuts with the chopstick.
- Allow to cool fully before using - or again you can store in an airtight container for a day or two.
2 egg yolks
20 g sugar
150 gr dark chocolate
60 gr butter
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until combined.
- Gently heat the cream and milk in a medium saucepan until just starting to steam.
- Pour the cream and milk over the yolks, whisking as you go, to get smooth custard.
- Return to a clean saucepan and place over a low heat.
- Stir continually until it thickens, that is when it visible coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve onto the dark chocolate, allow the chocolate to melt, then whisk until smooth.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes then whisk in the butter.
- Allow to cool to room temperature or chill a little but don’t allow it to set.
100gr white chocolate drops
100gr peanut butter
25 gr Butter
225 ml Cream
- Put the peanut butter, white chocolate and butter in a bowl over a Bain Marie of water.
- Stir together until melted and smooth, and then remove from the heat.
- Once cool but not set whisk the cream and fold into the peanut mix.
- To assemble
- Lift the meringue off the parchment paper, put one on a serving plate and keep the other on a flat surface.
- Share the cooled chocolate custard between the two meringues, spreading gently with the back of a spoon in a circular movement.
- Sprinkle each layer with some candies peanuts; keep a few for the top.
- Next spread the peanut butter cream over both.
- Lift the second meringue carefully with a spatula onto the first.
- Scatter with the remaining peanuts, and drizzle with melted dark chocolate.
- I have topped this with the extra meringue kisses.
For more Christmas food recipes see www.echolive.ie/christmasfood