EASTER PAVLOVA WITH RHUBARB, GINGER, PASSIONFRUIT & ROSEMARY
After a glimpse of spring here in Scotland, we had the classic March showers which lasted a bit too long for my liking. But as a result, the grass is greener and the Japanese cherry blossom trees are slowly starting to bloom. And with the weather turning amazing again, spring in the air and Easter just around the corner, I couldn’t resist and decided to make the cake I have been longing to make on this sunny day – the easter pavlova.
The cake is composed of two large meringues, with whipped cream in the middle, and topped with more whipped cream stewed rhubarb and ginger, raw rhubarb shavings, passion fruit and rosemary.
I like a slightly softer centre when it comes to meringue so it melts in your mouth when you bit into it. To achieve this always keep your eggs at room temperature before making the meringue, and whipping. Use min 1/2 dl/50g sugar per egg white and add the sugar gradually whilst whisking.
5 egg whites (organic eggs at room temperature)
250g sugar (if available use super-fine white sugar as it dissolves quicker)
1 pinch of salt
Rhubarb & ginger compote
400g peeled rhubarb (keep the peel and set aside)
1 tbsp raw grated ginger
1 dl/100g sugar
3dl/300g whipping (double) cream
2 passion fruits
1 bunch of rosemary
Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F.
Put the egg whites in a large, clean bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until stiff but not dry. They are ready when you can turn the bowl upside down without the eggs sliding out.
Gradually whisk in the sugar, a tablespoonful at a time, whisking for a few seconds between each addition. Adding the sugar slowly helps to build up the volume in the meringue and make it stiff and shiny. This should take approx. 10-12 minutes.
Spoon the meringue on the baking paper and shape with the back of a serving spoon. Form two meringues (20 cm width/5 cm height), one next to the other.
Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour until very lightly coloured and crisp on the outside. (If the meringue seems to be becoming too brown, reduce the temperature of the oven). Turn the oven off and leave the meringue for a further hour.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before putting your topping on.
For the rhubarb & ginger compote
Peel and chop the rhubarb into roughly cm-sized chunks. Save the shavings!
Place the rhubarb in a pan along with the water, sugar and ground ginger and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer gently for around 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Leave to cool.
For the filling
In a bowl sprinkle some sugar over the rhubarb shavings and set aside.
Whip 3dl/300g cream till light and fluffy. I don’t add sugar to the cream as the meringues are sweet enough.
When the meringues are totally cool, add the whipped cream, then sandwich the other meringue on top. Add more whipped cream on top of the second meringue and the rhubarb compote.
Decorate the cake with the rhubarb shavings on top and spoon out the passion fruit over the cake, and finish off with a couple of stems of rosemary – scattered around the cake.
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