Meringue and cherry torte
This reinvented pavlova will truly be the cherry on top of your Christmas feast!
Meringue and cherry torte. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Then line two baking trays with baking paper. Draw 3 17 centimetre circles on the paper, one on one tray and then two on the other. Then turn the paper over on the trays. Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until firm peaks form. Start gradually adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk well after each addition. Once you've added all the sugar, keep whisking for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the sugar dissolves completely. Divide the meringue mixture into three even portions. Spoon each portion onto one of the circles on the tray. Use the circles as a guide to help you gently spread out the meringues to form a two centimetre thick disk. Bake the meringues, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for about an hour and a half or until they feel dry to touch. Turn the oven off and open the door so it's slightly ajar. Then leave the meringues to cook completely. To poach the cherries. Take a medium saucepan and combine cherries, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, almond extract, and half a cup of water. Sir occasionally over medium heat for about 10 minutes, the syrup should thicken slightly. Pour into a heatproof bowl. then discard the star anise and cinnamon and set aside to cool completely. Put the cream mascarpone and amaretto, if you're using it, in a bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk until soft peaks form. To assemble the torte. Start by placing a meringue disk on a serving plate. Top with one quarter of the cream mixture and spoon over a third of the cherry mixture. Keep layering with the rest of the meringue disk, cream mixture and cherry mixture finishing with cream mixture. This twist on the traditional Pavlova makes a beautiful centrepiece for your Christmas table. For the full recipe, see the description below. For another Christmas showstopper, head to our cherry ripple cheesecake video here.
Note: + 2 hours cooling time
- 4 Coles Australian Free Range Egg whites
- 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
- 600ml thickened cream
- 250g mascarpone
- 1/4 cup (60ml) amaretto (optional)
- Cherries, to serve
- 500g cherries, pitted
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick or quill
- 1 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 100°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Draw a 17cm circle on 1 tray and two 17cm circles on the remaining tray. Turn paper over.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, whisking well after each addition. Continue whisking until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy.
Divide mixture into 3 even portions. Spoon onto circles on the lined trays. Using each circle as a guide, shape into 17cm discs. Bake, swapping the trays halfway through cooking, for 1½ hours or until meringues are dry to the touch. Turn oven off. Leave in the oven, with the door ajar, for 2 hours to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the spiced cherries, place the cherries, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, almond extract and ½ cup (125ml) water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins or until the syrup thickens slightly. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool completely. Remove the star anise and cinnamon and discard.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream, mascarpone and amaretto, if using, in a bowl until soft peaks form. Place 1 meringue disc on a serving plate. Top with one-third of the cream mixture. Spoon over one-third of the spiced cherries. Top with another meringue disc. Continue layering with the remaining cream mixture, spiced cherries and meringue disc. Top with the whole cherries.