I love a theme and I love Pavlova so this really is the ideal Christmas dessert for me. I was invited to a whole host of Christmas events last week, and was up to my eye balls in party food. When everyone knows you write a food blog the pressure is on to make something spectacular, that and the fact I’m a total perfectionist when it comes to food. This Berry Christmas Wreath was the ideal treat for me to bring, as I was able to make the meringue the night before and just put the topping on at the party. I topped mine with medley of red berries, including strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranate, then added a sprinkling of icing sugar and a sprig of holly to give it that christmassy effect.
300g of white sugar
6 egg whites
1/2 a teaspoon of cream of tartar
400mls of whipped cream
6 strawberries (halved)
12 dried cranberries
1/2 a pomegranate
1 teaspoon of icing sugar
1. To make the pavlova you first need to separate your eggs (whites only) and whisk them to stiff peaks in a clean mixing bowl. I would recommend an electric whisk unless you are very strong. You need the egg whites to be as stiff as possible as they will only get softer as you beat in the sugar. In an ideal world they should be stiff enough to stay in the bowl when held upside down.
2. Beat in the sugar a bit at a time until it has been mixed into the egg whites before adding the next bit. The sugar should be fully incorporated so it is no longer grainy. Then add the cream of tartar and beat one last time.
3. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius then line a baking tray with a piece of grease-proof paper. Draw a circle on the grease-proof paper and build up the edges by spooning or piping blobs around the outside, then pipe a second circle inside leaving a hole in the middle, just like a wreath. Flatten the top slightly so it’s easier to fill later. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, at this point the outside should be crisp while the inside is a little marshmallowy. If you prefer your meringue to be hard the whole way through leave it in for another hour. As long as the temperature is kept low it wont burn.
4. Once your wreath is baked, leave to cool for an hour or so and whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Top the meringue with the whipped cream then decorate with your berries. To finish sprinkle the icing sugar over the top, and fasten on a Christmas ornament if you have one.