This show-stopping Pavlova recipe from the Meringue Girls is composed of no less than five incredible elements: a brown sugar meringue, chocolate dipped clementines, spiced oranges and pomegranate drizzle, chocolate drips, and cinnamon meringue sticks. Perfect for bringing the ‘wow’ factor to any festive gathering and for spicing up those autumnal months, it can also be paired back to include only one layer.
Ingredients | Serves 15
Brown sugar meringue mixture
250g light brown soft sugar
250g golden caster sugar
250g free range egg whites (7-8 eggs, or use Two Chicks liquid egg whites so there is no yolk wastage)
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1kg double cream
50g icing sugar
Chocolate dipped clementines
50g dark chocolate, melted
6 clementines, segmented
A touch of sea salt (optional)
Sticky spiced orange drizzle
Juice of 2 oranges, or a splash of ready made orange juice
50g pomegranate molasses
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
100g dark chocolate, to be melted and drizzled over the sides
Cinnamon meringue sticks
Chocolate orange matchmakers
Edible gold leaf
First, make the brown sugar meringue mixture
1. Prepare two flat baking trays with non-stick baking paper for the pavlova, and draw two circles on the baking paper as a guide – 13cm and 18cm in diameter.
2. Line another flat baking tray with non-stick paper for the decorative meringue sticks.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C, and line a deep baking tray with baking parchment. Then pour in the brown sugar and the golden caster and heat it in the oven for 5-7 minutes. The brown sugar caramelises quickly, so bash and stir with a wooden spoon every couple of minutes to stop it from clumping up. Heating the sugar helps to create a glossy, stable mixture.
4. Pour the egg whites into a mixer and whisk them slowly, allowing small stabilising bubbles to form, then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Don’t let them over whisk!
5. Take the sugar out of the oven, and turn oven down to 100°C. With your mixer on full speed, very slowly, spoon by spoon add the hot sugar into the beaten egg. whites, making sure the mixture comes back up to stiff peaks after each addition of sugar. Don’t add any large lumps of sugar that may have caramelised.
6. Once all of the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on full speed until a smooth, stiff and glossy mixture has been achieved. Continue to whisk for at least 5 minutes once the sugar has incorporated.
Top Tip: If the mixture feels gritty between your fingers, keep whisking at full speed until it has dissolved.
7. Working quickly, before the meringue begins to deflate, spoon the meringue mixture into the pre-drawn circles, and carefully shape smooth, tall nests with a palette knife. Use the back of a spoon to create a deep well.
8. Bake low and slow in the oven for about 4 hours. When cooked, the meringue should have a firm base and come away from the baking paper. Set aside to cool. This can be made up to four days in advance, and kept in a cool, dry place.
Next, make the meringue sticks
9. With any spare meringue mixture, fill up a disposable piping bag, and cut a small 5p-sized hole in the tip. Use this to pipe long sticks onto a baking tray. Pop these in the oven with the pavlova, but take them out after an hour and a half.
After that, focus on the spiced pomegranate and orange drizzle
10. Put the orange juice and spices in a small saucepan and heat to infuse the spices and slightly reduce – keep an eye on it, as it reduces (and burns) fast.
11. When it’s nice and spicy, remove from the heat and add the pomegranate molasses to make a sticky sour and spiced syrup.
Chocolate dipped clementines
12. Dip the segmented clementines in melted chocolate, and lay on a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and allow to harden.
How to serve
13. Place the largest pavlova shell in the centre of a serving platter.
14. Drizzle with melted chocolate, letting it drip down the sides of the nest.
15. Whip the double cream, adding icing sugar until soft peaks form, and slather this over the top.
16. Place on top of this the smaller-sized pavlova, and decorate the chocolate drips and cream too.
17. Let your inner baker get creative with the chocolate dipped clementines, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon meringue sticks, orange matchstick makers and gold leaf – then give it a final flourish with the sticky spiced glaze.
Read our interview with the Meringue Girls here.
Creative baking duo, The Meringue Girls, have partnered with Currys PC World to challenge the nation to try something new in the kitchen with a range of impressive dessert recipes. Visit www.currys.co.uk/baking for all your baking needs.