Christmas Dessert from Down Under!
Crisp on the edges and marshmallow soft in the center, this pavlova is a decadent combination of expresso, dulce de leche, chocolate sauce and toffee bits – OH MY!
Impressive looking and easy to make the egg white meringue has a nice subtle expresso flavor that is then piled high with a high quality dulce de leche and whipped cream. You can also follow the Australian tradition of topping this dessert with fruit and BE BRAVE by adding dark Morello cherries drained from their liquid – it is quite the treat!
Just remember to give yourself time to make the meringue which takes about 2 hours in the oven, but it can be made a day or two in advance. Just assemble it all right before serving.
Enjoy this lush, billowy, soft and crisp dessert with a twist this holiday season!
Dulce de Leche Pavlova
(* indicates my preferred ingredients – see notes for alternatives)
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (see Chef Tip)
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Melipone Vanilla *
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cornstarch plus more for dusting the parchment paper
3 teaspoons expresso powder
1 jar Dulce de Leche (I love San Ignacio)
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Chocolate sauce to drizzle
Salted caramel sauce to drizzle
O&V Pistachio cream to drizzle (optional) *
Sprinkle with toffee bits
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, going up the sides a little bit. Draw a 9-inch circle on parchment paper (turn the paper over so that the pencil markings don’t transfer to the pavlova), sprinkle the circle with cornstarch.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with an electric beater until soft peaks form (about 3-4 minutes). With the beaters running, add the sugar in small amounts (about 2 tablespoons at a time), beating well until sugar is incorporated before adding more. Continue beating until glossy stiff peaks begin to form. Add in the vanilla and the expresso powder and beat another 30 seconds. Keep beating at high speed to ensure the peaks remain stiff.
Use a spatula to fold in the cornstarch. Spread the meringue into the parchment lined baking sheet over the sprinkled cornstarch circle creating a slight dip in the center with higher edges. Keep the meringue about ½” from the sides of the pan or it may become difficult to remove the pavlova from the baking sheet to serve.
Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200F. Bake in the oven until the pavlova is firm and dry (about 90 – 100 minutes). Turn the oven off and let the meringue cool in the oven for 2 hours (do NOT open the oven door). After 2 hours, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. At this point you can store for up to 2 days at room temperature or serve with the toppings immediately.
Make the topping by whipping the heavy cream in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pavlova by placing the cooled meringue on a platter. Spread a layer of dulce de leche on the pavlova leaving a nice meringue edge. Top with the whipped cream. Drizzle well with the chocolate sauce, salted caramel sauce and sprinkle with toffee (or top with morello cherries). Serve immediately.
Active time: 25 minutes Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
To ensure that the egg whites whip properly, separate the eggs carefully while they are still cold from the refrigerator. Make sure there are absolutely no traces of yolk. Once separated, you can let the egg whites get to room temperature before starting to make the meringue.
* My preference is to use the Mexican Melipone vanilla for its intense flavor and aroma, but any high-quality vanilla will work. I love to also use the O&V Pistachio cream as a drizzle over this pavlova for a delicious option.
All highlighted products are available at Oil & Vinegar stores.
Categories: Dessert, Sweets, Australian Pavlova, Expresso dessert, Pistachio Cream, Melipone Vanilla, Egg White, Meringue, Gluten Free Dessert, Chocolate Sauce, Dulce de Leche, Toffee Topping