This recipe is a little less involved than a normal Pavlova because it is just one layer and it's so easy to make. Meringue and sweetened vanilla cream are a joy when eaten together on their own, but once sprinkled with lovely seasonal fruit it becomes a perfect combination! Feel free to substitute the fruit with wild strawberries or blueberries or any mixture of soft fruit that you fancy. With a sprinkling of hazelnuts and a caramel that sets hard on top, this is definitely naughty but nice! And as far as kids are concerned, you could probably up the fruit to get the good stuff into them if you want to.
Servings: Serves 8–10
- Basic meringue recipe
- 1 3/4 ounce peeled hazelnuts
- 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. powered sugar , sifted
- 1 vanilla bean , scored lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1 container raspberries
- 1 container blackberries
- Small bunch of fresh mint , smallest leaves picked
Preheat the oven to 300° and line a 12 x 4 inch baking pan with a sheet of wax paper. Then make your basic meringue
mixture. Using a spatula, spread the meringue mixture onto the wax paper so that it covers the whole baking pan. Carefully place the tray into the preheated oven and bake the meringue for an hour until crisp on the outside, but chewy and soft on the inside. Take the meringue out of the oven and leave to cool.
Place the hazelnuts in a baking pan and pop them into the oven until they're light brown–don't turn your back on them because they burn easily. Crush them lightly in a pestle and mortar and put to one side. Whip the cream with the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla seeds until it forms soft peaks. Using your fingers, gently press down on the center of the cooled meringue to create a hollow in the middle of it. Sprinkle in some of the crushed hazelnuts, then some berries and some vanilla cream. Repeat these layers until you have used up all the ingredients.
Put the superfine sugar into a saucepan, add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then reduce until the liquid turns into caramel. Carefully drizzle this over the top of the meringue and finish with a scattering of mint leaves.