This layered pav channels the Cherry Ripe - coconut, sweet cherries and chocolate - with a slug of booze added for festive cheer. It's beautifully delicate and will crumble and crack, but this is all part of its charm. You can make the meringues and cherry ripple in advance, and assemble the dessert just before serving.
- 300 gm double cream
- 300 ml pouring cream
- 50 ml coconut liqueur, or to taste
- 1½ tbsp each brown sugar and sieved icing sugar
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- To serve: cherries, toasted coconut flakes, shaved milk chocolate and shaved dark chocolate
- 260 gm eggwhites (about 7), at room temperature
- 320 gm caster sugar
- 80 gm brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 140 gm moist coconut flakes
- 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp liquid glucose
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 400 gm pitted cherries (about 450gm unpitted), coarsely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1For coconut meringue, preheat oven to 130C (no fan). Grease two 22cm springform cake tins and line the bases and sides with baking paper. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes), then gradually add caster sugar in a steady stream, whisking to combine. Meanwhile, process brown sugar and cornflour in a food processor to combine, then gradually add to eggwhites and whisk until firm and glossy (3-4 minutes). Whisk in vinegar, then fold in coconut. Divide evenly into prepared cake tins and bake, swapping and turning occasionally, until meringue is crisp and dry to touch (1¼-1½ hours). Turn off heat and leave meringues in oven with the door slightly ajar to cool completely (1 hour). Carefully remove from tins, peel away baking paper – they will be very fragile and may crack a little, but this is okay – and store in individual airtight containers (do not stack). Meringues can be made a day ahead.
- 2Meanwhile, for cherry ripple, stir sugar, glucose, vanilla and 120ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then add cherries and bring to the boil. Cook until cherries are tender and liquid reduces to a syrup (15-20 minutes), then stir in lemon juice, transfer to a container and refrigerate until chilled. Cherry ripple can be made a week in advance.
- 3Just before serving, whisk creams, liqueur, sugars and vanilla in an electric mixer to soft peaks, then fold in two-thirds cherry ripple to form a ripple effect. To assemble, place one meringue on a serving platter, spread with two-thirds cream mixture, top with remaining meringue then remaining cream. Pile on cherries, scatter with toasted coconut flakes and shaved chocolate, drizzle with remaining cherry ripple to taste and serve pavlova cake immediately.
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