It’s Christmas Eve and I think that because it’s an evening that’s inherently filled with a sense of magic and wonder it’s a perfect evening for gathering around the dinner table and sharing a relaxing, warming meal with our loved ones. However, as much as I love making a good dinner on Christmas Eve I also think that it’s always nice to make something really special for dessert, such as this festive meringue wreath.
I’m really pleased with how this meringue wreath turned out. I’m not a fan of dry, crumbly old-fashioned meringue that just shatters into shards in your mouth and has nothing particularly interesting going for it. I much prefer my meringue to be crisp on the outside, but lovely and stickily chewy on the inside. I think this type of meringue has a lot more flavour to it, producing a caramel-flavoured note that dry meringue cannot. I chose to decorate mine with dark chocolate and pomegranate seeds, but you could use white chocolate if you prefer (although it won’t be dairy-free) and you could opt for blueberries or raspberries as your decorative fruit too.
This meringue wreath is really easy to make, but there are just a few things to remember to get the best results:
1.) Don’t get any fat (i.e egg yolk) in the egg whites because they will not fluff up properly if there is any fat in them. Also, make sure your bowl and electric whisk beaters are spotlessly clean of any residual fats.
2.) Use room temperature eggs as they will produce much more volume than fridge-cold ones.
3.) Use caster sugar because the egg white bubbles are so delicate that they’ll break more easily if they’re in contact with granulated sugar.
4.) Add a little cornflour to stabilise the beaten egg whites and to create a chewy texture to your meringue.
This meringue wreath is made of crisp, but chewy, sweet meringue that’s drizzled all over with melted dark chocolate, scattered with toasted flaked almonds and topped with freshly popped pomegranate seeds. It’s a real showpiece that just so happens to deliver on the taste front too. Just what you need in your recipe arsenal as we roll into Christmas in earnest.
3 egg whites
180g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
For the decoration:
100g dark chocolate
40g flaked almonds
1 pomegranate (seeds only)
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas mark 4.
Separate the 3 eggs and put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until firm and then gently whisk in the cornflour and caster sugar.
Put the meringue wreath in the oven and then turn the oven down to 150C/130C Fan/300F/ Gas mark 2. Bake for 1 hour and then leave the meringue to cool.
While the meringue is cooling, toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan until they are golden brown and leave to one side.
Once the meringue is cold and ready to decorate, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle it all over the meringue wreath. Scatter the flaked almonds on top and add the pomegranate seeds before serving.