christmas week 2015 - pavlova wreath with mascarpone cream

Welcome to Day 5, the last day of  of Christmas week. Every-one seems to love a pavlova, especially at Christmas time. When I decided to make a pavlova for Christmas week, I wanted to make it a bit special. I couldn't decide between a rolled pavlova or a pavlova wreath, which was inspired by this one from Donna Hay magazine. In the end I went with a pavlova wreath with mascarpone cream.

Pavlova is made from meringue using a ratio of 60g caster sugar for each egg white, flavoured with vanilla. A little vinegar and cornflour is added to the meringue to make the marshmallow like interior. I found 3 egg whites in my freezer so I only made a small wreath, about 8 inches in diameter. 
If you preheat the oven to about 180°C/350°F, it helps set the sugar and stops the pavlova weeping. I baked the pavlova at my oven's lowest setting of 125°C and after an hour let it cool in the switched off oven.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Pavlova wreath - serves 4
3 egg whites
3/4 cup (180 g) caster sugar
½ teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoons cornflour (corn starch)

½ cup cream
½ cup mascarpone
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs caster sugar
icing sugar
passionfruit pulp

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper, drawing a 17 cm circle onto the paper. Turn the paper upside down.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until all the sugar has been added. The mixture should be very white, thick and glossy. Gently fold in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla extract.

Place heaped spoonfuls of the meringue mixture around the inside of the circle to create ring. Remember the meringue will spread a little as it cooks. Lower the oven temperature to 120°C/250°F before placing the pavlovas in the oven.

Bake for 1 hour or until the meringue is very lightly coloured and the top is dry. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the turned off oven to cool.

When the pavlova is cool, gently remove the paper from the tray and place on a cooling rack. Store the pavlova wreath in an airtight container until it's needed. Just before serving dust the wreath with icing sugar. Serve the wreath topped with the mascarpone cream and some passionfruit pulp.

Mascarpone Cream
In a medium size bowl combine the cream, mascarpone, vanilla extract and sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Place into an airtight container and refrigerate until required.

Today is my last working day for 2016, so yay, then Sunday I'm driving north to Brisbane for the Christmas break! I may be back next week with a Plate 2 Plate post so see you again then.

Bye for now,



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