Chocolate and cherry pavlova

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What a show stopper! Billowing crisp meringue topped with soft whipped cream, sweet black cherries, hazelnuts and fresh mint leaves. This one is to good to just bring out at Christmas. With its delicious chocolate meringue and morish chewy centre you will be back in the kitchen making this recipe again and again. Perfect for any celebration as it makes such an impressive dish and can be used as a great alternative to a birthday cake or Christmas Pud! Play with the toppings using different fruit chunks or berries then garnish with cocoa powder or a grated of chocolate.

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You can add a handful of chopped hazelnuts to the meringue mixture for a surprise nutty crunch or scatter them over the meringue nest once you have spooned it onto the baking sheet.

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp corn flour
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 300ml double cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 200g fresh cherries
  • 30g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves, to garnish

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1. Line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment. Place the egg whites in a large metal bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks.
  2. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time whisking well after each addition until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the cornflour, white wine vinegar and cocoa powder and whisk again until combined.
  3. Spoon out onto the prepared baking sheet making swirls of meringue as you place it to a circle approximately 25cm wide. Using the back of a spoon make a slight dip in the centre and build up the sides. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 mins. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and leave inside until completely cool.
  4. Whip the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form then pile onto the cooled chocolate meringue. Scatter with the cherries, hazelnuts and mint leaves to serve.

By Mima Sinclair

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Nutritional information

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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