I love Christmas. It is my absolute favourite time of the year. I love the build up. The gift wrapping. The present giving. The Christmas Cards. "O, Holy Night" being sung. The Christmas pudding that has been maturing for months. The smell of an open fire. Being wrapped up nice and warm against the cold. As much as I love life in Australia, Christmas just isn't the same. It's hot!
Preparing a Christmas dinner for family and friends can be very daunting. Cooking the turkey and ham while trying to make sure you don't over cook those Brussel Sprouts can be very stressful. This recipe helps relieve some of that stress. You can prepare the pavlova a few days in advance and store in an air-tight container in a dry place and then put it all together on Christmas morning. The colours are very Christmassy and the addition of tangerine or clementine zest makes it seem more festive.
150g Egg Whites
300g Caster Sugar
1 teasp White Wine Vinegar
150g Dark Chocolate, melted
2 Punnets Raspberry
300ml Thickened Cream
1/2 teasp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tangerine/Clementine Zest
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
Melt the chocolate.
Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
Add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat until the sugar dissolves.
Fold in the vinegar.
Working quickly, add most of the melted chocolate to the meringue and fold through a few times. You need a marbled effect not a fully mixed chocolate meringue.
Using a large metal spoon, scoop a spoonful of the mixture and place it onto the prepared baking tray. Continue until all the meringue is used. Don't worry if they don't look perfect because you're going to break them up when assembling the Eton Mess. Drizzle the remaining chocolate on top of the pavlovas.
Place the tray into the lower half in the oven. Reduce the heat to 100ºC.
Bake for about 35 minutes. The pavlovas are ready when they are dry to touch and peel away cleanly from the tray.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To assemble the Eton Mess, firstly prepare the components. Crush the pavlovas and set aside. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract and citrus zest. Crush 1 punnet of raspberries with a fork and add to the cream. Fold through.
Layer the Eton Mess by placing some pavlovas in the serving bowl. Top with the citrus raspberry cream. Add another layer of crushed pavlova and again top with the cream. Scatter with some whole raspberries. For the last level add another layer of crushed pavlova and top with cream. Scatter with some whole raspberries and perhaps a sprig of holly!
Happy Christmas in July!