Pavlova is always an impressive dessert, and the good news is that they should look a little imperfect, so no need for fancy decorating or piping skills! There’s also not much skill involved, other than a lot of whisking, but if you have an electric hand whisk or stand mixer then it only takes a few minutes. I’ve used chopped up Snickers bars to top this pavlova because the nutty crunch works well the other textures here; smooth Nutella cream and the crisp outer and marshmallowy centre of the meringue. You could easily substitute another favourite chocolate treat – Crunchie, Malteasers or something with a caramel centre would all work well.
Snickers Pavlova with Nutella Cream
For the meringue:
- 4 egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine or cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 160C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a clean glass or metal bowl (wipe the inside with the cut half of a lemon or a little vinegar to ensure it’s grease-free) whisk the egg whites until opaque white, fluffy and you can make stiff peaks with them. Slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time, still whisking all the while and making sure each spoon of sugar is fully whisked in before you add the next. Once all the sugar is incorporated you should have smooth, glossy whites. Sprinkle the cornflour and vinegar over the meringue and give a final whisk to ensure well blended.
Use a little blob of the meringue on the underside of your greaseproof paper to help it stick to the baking tray. With a spatula, make a large disk of meringue on the baking tray, approximately 9″ in diameter (you can draw a circle on the underside of the baking paper if you want to be precise). Pile all the meringue on the circle and smooth it as best you can until you have a crown-like dome. Put the meringue in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 150C. Bake for an hour – the meringue should be pale golden and firm to the touch after this time (don’t worry if there are a few cracks) – then turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven to cool completely.
For the topping:
- 300ml double cream
- 100g Nutella (or other hazelnut chocolate spread)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Snickers bars
In a bowl, whisk the cream, Nutella and vanilla until luxuriously thick – it should cling to the whisk but drop off when given a sharp tap on the side of the bowl. Chop the Snickers bars into little chunks. I all honesty, I used about 1 and a half bars, so it doesn’t matter if a few chunks go astray!
Remove the cooled meringue (which may well have cracks in now it’s cooled, but that’s a good thing) from the greaseproof paper and put it on a serving plate. Pile the Nutella cream on to the centre of the meringue and scatter the Snickers pieces all over the top. Chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving.