Instead of serving a traditional Christmas pudding this festive season, why not serve something more appropriate to our climate like this light and fruity and slightly decadent dessert? In this recipe, Australia’s national dessert gets a makeover, with the meringue flavoured with hazelnut meal and the Nutella added to the cream. The pavlova can be made the day before, leaving minimal last minute preparation. The perfect Christmas Day dessert!
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
75g hazelnut meal
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300ml thickened cream
2 tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
To serve: Assortment of summer fruits (eg mango, kiwi fruit, banana, passionfruit, berries, etc)
Oven tray lined with baking paper
Method (20 mins prep + 60 mins cooking time):
1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Draw a 22cm circle on the baking paper using a plate or cake tin as a guide.
3. Beat the egg whites using the electric mixer in a large clean bowl until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating continuously until the mixture is thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved. This should take about 10 minutes in total.
4. Add the cornflour, vinegar, vanilla and hazelnut meal and mix with a large metal spoon until just combined.
5. Spoon the meringue onto the circle on the baking paper.
6. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 120°C. Bake for 1 hour, or until the pavlova is dry and crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven with the door ajar.
8. When the pavlova is completely cool, remove from the oven and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
9. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream with the Nutella until firm peaks form.
10. Pile the Nutella-cream mixture on top of the pavlova. Top with the fruit and enjoy.