300g caster sugar
5 large eggs, whites only, at room temperature
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
400ml full fat creme fraiche
A little honey, to drizzle
A tub of Jude's Chocolate with a touch of sea salt ice cream.
Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas mark 6.
Empty the sugar into a lined oven tray and place in the oven. Heat until the edges of the sugar are just about to melt, about 8 minutes. Be cautious not to allow the sugar to burn or caramelize.
The Italian meringue method is used to make this meringue, which means the egg whites are slightly cooked by the hot sugar before they even go into the oven. You begin by cracking the egg whites into the bowl of a mixer, being careful not to drop any yolk into the whites. Start to whisk when the sugar is about to be removed from the oven and, as soon as the whites become ‘foamy’, pour in the hot sugar. Continue to whisk the meringue until has cooled to the touch and is voluminous, stiff and shiny. Turn the oven down to its lowest setting.
Fold the cocoa powder through the meringue, being careful not to over mix; it’s nice to see pockets of cocoa and pockets of meringue.
Line a baking tray with parchment, and spoon the meringue on in a large circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle, roughly 20-25cm wide – remember it will increase in size as the pavlova dries out. Put into the oven and bake until its crisp on the outside, and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom: depending on their size, this could take six hours or the best is leaving them overnight.
Turn the oven off and leave it in there until it has cooled, then immediately transfer to a plate. Pile on the crème fraiche and berries. Drizzle over a little runny honey and serve straight away, with scoops of ice cream.
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