- 75g orange-flavoured chocolate
- 4 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 225g caster sugar
- 1tbsp cornflour
- 1tsp white wine vinegar
- ½tsp vanilla essence
For the topping
- 150g cranberries
- 4tbsp caster sugar
- 1tbsp orange-flavoured brandy liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- 1 large orange, zested then peeled and segmented, and a little of the juice
- 300ml double cream icing sugar, to serve
For the chocolate bark
- 50g dark chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa solids
Serves Serves 8
Preheat oven to 190°C/325°F/ Gas 3 and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
Break the orange-flavoured chocolate into a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water so its base does not touch the water. Leave for 5 minutes. Remove bowl from the pan and stir the chocolate until completely melted. Leave to cool a little while you prepare the meringue for the pavlovas.
Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Use an electric beater to whisk until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time and whisk well between each addition, reserving 2tsp of sugar for later. Once the sugar has been added, the meringue should be very stiff. Sift the cornflour over the meringue and fold through very gently. Mix the 2tsp of sugar with the vinegar and vanilla essence and fold into the meringue until well mixed.
Use a little mixture to secure some parchment corners to the baking sheet (so it doesn’t move when piling on the mixture). Take a tablespoon of mixture at a time and place 4 piles on each tray. Drizzle a little melted chocolate over each with a teaspoon and swirl the chocolate into the meringue to form a 9cm circle. Take another spoonful of meringue and add to the top of each circle. Drizzle over more chocolate then swirl to spread the mixture into 12cm circles, making a slight dip in the centre of each for the filling.
Cook for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to 110°C/225°F/Gas ¼ and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the pavlovas. Keep them on the parchment and place on cooling racks. When just cooled, place them on a tray in the fridge until completely cold. Peel off the paper and store in airtight containers in a cold place until needed.
To make the topping, put the cranberries in a saucepan with the sugar, orange liqueur, orange zest and any juice left behind from segmenting the orange.
Heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the cranberries just start to burst. Continue to cook until the mixture is no longer wet but the cranberries still retain a little shape. Cool for up to 1 hour before using.
To make the chocolate bark, break the dark chocolate into a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water so its base does not touch the water. Leave for 5 minutes. Remove bowl and stir the chocolate until completely melted, then spread it on a firm metal or marble surface with a spatula. When it has just set, pull a sharp large chopping knife over the surface to make shards that look like the bark of a tree. Store in an airtight container.
Whisk the double cream until it just holds its shape but is still a little floppy. Pile some of the cream into the centre of each pavlova. Place the orange segments on top of the cream and arrange the cold cranberries over them. Top with chocolate bark and dust with icing sugar to serve. You can eat right away, or they an be left up to 2 hours if you like them squidgy.