Yep, that’s right a pavlova shaped as a Christmas tree. We (me and my best friend, Kirsty) went there. You just can’t beat a pav, it’s such a crowd pleaser of a dessert and light enough to eat after a heavy Christmas meal. There were eight of us and we all had a generous portion – there was plenty left over it’s definitely good value too!
For me, the best pav is crisp on the outside, marshmallowy on the inside and slathered in whipped Chantilly cream and berries. As it’s the festive season, we decided to make the mixed berry coulis (blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries and raspberries) using lots of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liquor) and muscovado sugar.
The quantities and method are taken from Jamie Oliver’s summer berry pavlova recipe – it’s definitely easiest to make the meringue mixture in a mixer or using a handheld electric whisk. You could do it by hand but it would take a long time!
To get the mixture into a Christmas tree shape, roughly draw out an outline using pencil on your baking paper (stick this to your baking sheet using a blob of the meringue mix in each corner) and then portion the mix out between the two sheets and using a spatula shape it into the Christmas tree outline (see picture below).
This recipe made enough for two trees, with cream and coulis in the middle and more cream on the top, which allowed us to decorate it to look like a Christmas tree. Decorating was definitely the most fun part; we used edible green and red glitter, silver stars and multi-coloured mini sugar balls.
The result was garish, hilarious and most importantly delicious – it makes a great centerpiece post-dinner. Why not try it out this Christmas? It will definitely go down well if our friends’ reaction at our fake Christmas was anything to go by.
6 large eggs, separated
Golden caster sugar
Pinch of salt
One box of frozen mixed forest fruits (300g)
Crème de cassis (liberal amount)
Muscovado sugar to taste
Double cream (we used a 600ml pot)
Vanilla extract (or from a pod if you can afford it, but good essence with the flecks in is just as nice – and more importantly, cheaper!)
Edible glitter etc. to decorate
1) See Jamie Oliver’s recipe for how to prepare and cook the meringue.
2) Make the coulis by putting the berries, cassis and muscovado in a pan. Cook till the berries break down (about 10 mins) – if it’s not thick enough, use arrowroot powder diluted in water to thicken. Set aside to cool.
3) Whip the cream with about a tbsp of caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until firm – be careful not to over whip though or it could become buttery.
4) Construct the pavlova when everything is cooled. Start by putting one of the trees on a serving tray, spread about half the cream over it and all the coulis; place the second tree on top, spread with remaining cream and decorate!