Blood oranges give dramatic effect to this pavlova topping. Use standard oranges out of season.
A marbled chocolate pavlova is a useful addition to your pudding repertoire. And topping it with oranges and caramel gives it an oompf in flavour. For a bigger chocolate fix try the chocolate mousse with honeycomb.
MARBLED CHOCOLATE PAVLOVA
For the marbled chocolate pavlova
■ 5 egg whites
■ Caster sugar – twice the volume of the egg whites
■ 1 tbsp cocoa powder
■ 3 blood oranges peeled, pith taken off and sliced into circles. Or standard oranges depending on season.
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) caster sugar
■ 300ml (101⁄2fl oz) double cream
■ 1 tbsp icing sugar
■ 1 tsp vanilla essence
For the marbled chocolate pavlova pre-heat the oven to 110°C/230°F/Gas Mark 1⁄4.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Using an electric whisk, whisk all the egg whites and half the sugar in a large bowl until stiff.
Add a third of the remaining sugar and whisk for four minutes. Add another third, whisk for a further four minutes then stop the machine, scrape down the sides with a spatula and add the final third of sugar.
Whisk for a further four minutes then stop the machine, scatter the cocoa powder on top and give it one fold (only one or you will lose the marble effect).
With as few scoops as possible, turn out the meringue mix on to the lined baking tray and make into a circle about 20cm (8in) in diameter.
Bake the marbled chocolate pavlova on a low shelf for 2½ hours (I usually put a flat baking tray on the shelf above to help keep the meringue from colouring).
Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, lay the orange circles flat on a baking dish.
Heat the caster sugar with 50ml (2fl oz) cold water in a saucepan until the mixture starts to turn a dark-caramel colour. Pour immediately on to the oranges (it will spit) and leave to cool.
Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla to soft-peak stage.
When everything is cool, place your pavlova on its serving dish, spoon the cream on top then ladle over the oranges, some of the caramel juice and finally bits of the hardened caramel.