This recipe is an alternative to one found on Delicious by Katie Quinn Davies, mainly because the original called for spiced pears (which I’m so-so about) and mascarpone (which I didn’t have on hand). This is a relatively simple (yet time consuming) recipe. The result is 3 layers of absolute yum.
1 Tb cocoa powder
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100 g (3.5-4 oz) dark chocolate, very finely chopped and extra to sprinkle
9 egg whites (keep the yolks for the custard!)
2 cups caster (fine) sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
120 g (5-6 oz) slivered almonds
Vanilla custard cream
3 cups (710 ml) whole milk
9 egg yolks
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb butter, unsalted
1 Tb vanilla extract
1 cup (250 ml) cream
65 g (1/3 cup) butter, unsalted
50 g (2/3 cup) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (350 F). For the pavlova, mix the first 5 dry ingredients (cocoa powder through dark chocolate) together and set aside. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and beginning to stiffen. Slowly add the sugar, 1 Tb a time while whisking, until stiff and glossy. Fold in the vinegar and the dry ingredient mixture. Divide the meringue into 3 equally sized flat discs, each about 25 cm (10″) in diameter, on baking paper lined oven trays. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 140 C (280 F) and bake for 1 h. Turn off the oven, do not remove the pavlova, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 h.
Meanwhile, for the vanilla custard cream, heat the milk under medium-low heat until steaming but not boiling. While the milk is heating, mix the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until smooth. While continually mixing, slowly pour in the hot milk and mix for a few minutes more. Return the mixture to the stove and heat under medium-low heat while constantly mixing until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in the butter and vanilla, and allow to cool in the fridge for 2-3 h.
For the caramel sauce, mix all the ingredients into a sauce pan, and heat under medium-low heat until just boiling. Reduce the heat to low, and mix constantly for about 5 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool in the fridge for 2 h.
Toast the almonds in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 7-8 minutes. To assemble the pavlova, create layers of meringue, custard cream and caramel sauce, followed by toasted almonds and finely chopped dark chocolate.