If you are looking for an impressive dessert to dish up to friends and family, this is it,” promises Rochelle Humes.
“If you want to, you can make the meringue in advance. Sometimes pavlovas can be tricky, but this one is easy. Simply put this one on the table after dinner and let everyone dig in.”
Salted caramel pavlova
6 large eggs
300g/10½ oz golden caster sugar
200ml/7 fl oz double cream
400g/14 oz Greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla paste
40g/1½ oz 70% dark chocolate
400g/14 oz strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
For the salted caramel sauce:
100g/3½ oz golden caster sugar
50g/1¾ oz unsalted butter, cubed
5 tbsp double cream
Good pinch of sea salt flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2 and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
2. Crack the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, whisk the egg whites at high speed until they form stiff peaks. With the whisk still running, start adding the sugar a spoonful at a time, leaving a few seconds between each addition to allow the sugar to incorporate. Once all of the sugar has been added, keep whisking on full speed for another eight minutes until the meringue is stiff and glossy, and no grains of sugar can be felt when you rub the meringue between your fingers.
3. Tip the meringue onto your prepared baking sheet and form into a 23cm/9inch circle. For an extra flourish, swirl the meringue with the back of a spatula for a decorative effect, if you like. Transfer to the oven and bake for one and a half hours until lightly golden, then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova inside to cool and firm up for at least two hours. I like to cook the pavlova the night before I want to serve it and leave it in the oven to cool down slowly overnight.
4. About an hour before you want to serve your meringue, make the salted caramel sauce. Put the sugar in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and leave to melt, swirling the pan from time to time, but not touching with a spoon. Once the sugar has all melted and is nice and golden, add the butter and whisk to combine. (Be careful here as the hot sugar will bubble up when you add the butter.) Once the butter has melted, add the cream and whisk again to combine. Leave to cook for another two to three minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add a generous pinch of sea salt to the caramel and stir to combine. Set aside until you are ready to serve the pavlova.
5. Whisk the double cream with an electric whisk or in a stand mixer until it forms soft peaks, then fold in the yoghurt and vanilla paste. Put the pavlova on a serving plate, then spoon the cream and yoghurt mixture over the top. Chop the fruit and spoon that over also, then drizzle over the caramel sauce. Drag the blade of a sharp knife over the chocolate to create shavings, then sprinkle over the pavlova. Slice and serve.
For first-stage weaning: This is too sweet for little tummies, so simply serve very young children some of the fruit mashed up with a little Greek yoghurt.
For older children: As an occasional treat, older children can enjoy a slice of the pavlova without the caramel sauce. If they really want to try the caramel, make it without using salt and serve sparingly.
Recipe extracted from ‘At Mama’s Table’ by Rochelle Humes (published by Vermilion, £20; food photography by Yuki Sugiura, photos of Rochelle by Karis Kennedy), available now.