I am very pleased with the way this pavlova wreath turned out. It looks so festive and marvellous to the eye, and according to my sewing friends: it tastes delicious. Seconds were had!!! This is Donna Hay's Raspberry Swirl Pavlova Wreath.
I love baking pavlovas and I am lucky enough that they seem to like me too: I can whip one up with no trouble at all. I have some helpful hints:
- always make sure the eggs are at room temperature
- separate the eggs separately, that way if any yolk creeps through, it only affects one egg-white
- wipe the bowl and beaters with some vinegar to make sure they have no oil on them
- add the caster sugar slowly, spoon by spoon
- whisk the pavlova until it is glossy (not gloss!!), and when you rub a little of the mixture between your fingers it is silky smooth- no gritty sugar
- I use malt, white or even apple cider vinegar, it doesn't seem to matter
- try to be prepared and make the pavlova the day before, or early in the morning of the day. That way it can cool slowly in the oven
I usually use 50g of caster sugar for each egg-white, Donna Hay weighs and measures far more specifically. I just went with eggs that were 700g per dozen and used 6 egg-whites and 300g of caster sugar.
I tried to push the raspberry mixture through the sieve, and it was not fine enough so lots of the seeds went through. I gently smoothed it through again with a silicone spatula and it was better, but not perfect. I always add vanilla extract to a cooled mixture, as I believe that it is wrong to cook the extract. I don't know why!! Ah, I searched and if you boil the extract, which has alcohol in it, it burns off most of the flavour.
I used freeze-dried strawberries because they were easier to find than freeze-dried raspberries. Nobody cared.
If I was going to bake this for Christmas, and wanted to get ahead, I don't recommend using the raspberry swirl. The pavlova won't keep well. I would recommend just making the pavlova wreath and then swirling the raspberry swirl on the whipped cream topping.
I traced a circle with a permanent marker on the back of the baking paper and then folded it into quarters and then it was easy to make thirds: and ergo, twelfths. I extended the lines so I could make my wreath sections as easily as possible. I didn't have a square enough tray, so I made five extra little pavlova sections separately.
You should definitely make this: wreaths are trending this year for Christmas, and there will be a dessert wreath to suit everyone!!!
NB An Australian tablespoon is, very sensibly I think, 20ml.
Raspberry Swirl Pavlova Wreath serves 6-8
For the raspberry swirl:
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 2 tbspn (8 teaspoons) caster sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
For the pavlova:
- 225ml egg-white (about 6) at room temperature
- 330g caster sugar
- 1 1/2 tspn white vinegar ( I used malt)
- 2 tspn cornflour
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 250g fresh rapsberries (I used some my friend froze from her garden last year)
- 2 tbspn pistachios, finely chopped
- 1 tbspn freeze-dried raspberries, crushed
Preheat the oven to 150*C.
Make the raspberry swirl by stirring the raspberries and caster sugar, in a pan, over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. It will slightly reduce and thicken.
Smooth through a sieve, add the vanilla extract and refrigerate. It needs to be cold before being spooned over the unbaked pavlova.
Beat the egg-whites until stiff peaks form and then add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time every 30 seconds. It took about 10 minutes, I got bored at the end. Then beat for a further 6 minutes or until you feel no grit when you rub a little of the mixture between your forefinger and thumb. It will be very glossy and white.
Mix the vinegar and cornflour together and pour over the pavlova mixture, whisk for another 2 minutes.
Prepare the wreath shape on the baking paper, always on the underside, and then spoon the pavlova into each section, making a wreath shape.
Carefully pour a little of the raspberry swirl on top of each wreath portion. I used a 1/4 tspn spoon. Then swirl with the end of a teaspoon. Turn the oven DOWN to 100*C and bake the pavlova wreath for 60 minutes. Then turn the oven off, and leave the wreath inside until it is perfectly cold. I left mine overnight.
Just before serving, spoon a little whipped cream over each section and top with the fresh raspberries. Then sprinkle on the freeeze-dried raspberries and the chopped pistachios. And then it is a special Christmas treat for your mouth!!
An plain pavlova wreath, baked without a raspberry swirl, will keep for at least a week in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard.