Food, Recipes

Christmas Tree Pavlova

INGREDIENTS

For the meringues (2 batches need to be prepared):  

  • 2 x 500g caster sugar
  • 2 x 250g free range egg whites
  • 2 x 2 tsp corn flour
  • 2 x 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 x 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Chantilly cream:

  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsps. icing sugar, sifted

For the berry sauce:

  • 500g mixed frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of water

To assemble:

  • Berries

Equipment needed:

  • 4 x Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Rectangular Baking Sheets
  • Baking paper
  • Electric mixer,
  • Piping bag, star piping nozzle (826)
  • Le Creuset Spatula

METHOD

Tray preparation and template:

Line 4 x Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Rectangular Baking Sheets with baking paper. Draw the following circles on each:
Tray 1 – 28cm circle
Tray 2 – 22cm circle
Tray 3 – 14cm circle and 10cm circle
Tray 4 – 18cm circle and 6cm circle

Meringue: Make 2 separate batches of meringue.

In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to a soft peak. Gradually beat in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the mixture is thick, smooth, no longer grainy.

Sift the corn flour over the meringue and add the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk for a further 5-10 seconds to just combine.

Remove the meringue from the mixer, clean the bowl and whisk and repeat the process to make a second batch.

Piping:
Secure the baking paper to each tray with a small dollop of meringue in each corner.

Spoon some meringue onto each circle (except the smallest 6cm one). Spread with a pallet knife to achieve an even layer of approx. 1 ½ cm thick.

Place a star nozzle in a piping bag and fill with meringue.

First pipe a meringue kiss in the 6cm circle, this will be the top of the tree.

Then working your way around each meringue disc, create a pine tree-like effect by piping from the base, small strokes upwards.

Bake the meringue at 120°C for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 100°C and continue baking for 1 ½ – 2 hours until the meringue is completely dried out. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool in the oven. Store discs in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Berry Sauce:
Place all ingredients in a Le Creuset saucepan allow to simmer until thick and saucy. Blend if you prefer a smooth consistency.

Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Chantilly cream:
Whip the cream to soft peaks, fold in the vanilla and sifted icing sugar. Use immediately.

Assembling:
Place the largest disc onto a Le Creuset Footed Cake Stand, spread over a layer of Chantilly cream, top with a spoonful or two of berries, top with the next disc and repeat until you have a beautiful tower. Garnish with a few berries.