After watching the previews of Jamie’s Family Christmas, as part of Food TV’s November line up, the idea of Christmas traditions started to run through my mind. In the first episode of the series Jamie shows you how to make the perfect roast turkey, my family hasn’t been much of a turkey family over the years – although Wendy (my Step Mum) makes a mean roast turkey along with what seems like the more traditional (at least in NZ) ham every Christmas Eve. There is something about Pavlova that screams Christmas to me, I think it’s because my Mum only ever really made them for or around Christmas. I haven’t yet perfected the tall, white, perfect pav but recently started making this stacked version which is so simple and decadently delicious, I think I can see it becoming a Christmas tradition in my house.
5 egg whites
1½ cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1¼ cups cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
250 grams dark chocolate
25 grams butter
¾ cup cream
Preheat your oven to 120°C. Use a 20cm round cake tin to trace *four circles on to the back two large pieces of baking paper which will go on two baking trays.
Place your egg whites on the bowl of your electric mixer and beat using the whisk attachment on a medium to high speed until you get soft peaks.
Lower your mixer to a medium speed and gradually add the caster sugar. Continue to mix until thick and glossy before adding the vinegar and vanilla essence.
Once the vinegar and vanilla essence are properly mixed in you can turn off the mixer and spoon the mix onto the four circles you earlier traced out. Use a spatula or the back of a large spoon to spread the mixture evenly so the disks are nice and flat.
Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour before turning it off and leaving the door ajar to let them cool completely.
Once the pavlovas are nearly cool you can make your ganache by putting the chocolate, butter and 3/4 cup of cream into a large heatproof bowl and put that on top of a pot of simmering water (make sure the water will not touch the bottom of your bowl) to create a double boiler. Stir the ingredients until they have melted and come together before setting it aside to allow it to cool to a consistency that is spreadable.
Using an electric mixer, mix the 1 1/4 cup of cream and vanilla paste until it is thick.
To assemble your stacked pavlova spread ganache over the bottom layer and then top with cream, repeat with the next two layers. Dust the top pavolova with icing sugar and melt any excess ganache in the microwave and drizzle it over.
* I always make four disks in case one crumbles or rises too much. You can use three or four layers if all of them turn out perfectly.
So there you have it. I find it easier than a standard pavlova to get right. Does it look like something you might want to add to the Christmas day menu at your house? Do you have any special traditions cooking or otherwise?
If you want to check out Jamie’s Family Christmas and get into the spirit of the season (albeit a little bit early for some people – if your like me however the timing is perfect!), it premieres tonight on Food TV, SKY channel 9. And, if after watching you think you’d like to decorate you place with awesome paper fans just like Jamie has then head on over to The Pretty Baker and buy up large so you can have your place looking as great as the Oliver’s, while your there I promise it’s worth a look checking out their Christmas stock!