Whenever we go to dinner or lunch at friends’ houses, the women usually bring along a dessert. Yes, there’s always pressure not to have your pudding the one that’s hardly been touched. Meringue is always one of the first to go. This cherry and chocolate meringue wreath is perfect for Christmas celebrations. Or it can be made in a traditional circle like a pavlova, or in log shape to make it a lighter alternative to a yule log.
I love cherries, and the compote gives it a bit of richness, set off by the chocolate. You can use any sort, but dark chocolate will help offset against the sweetness of the meringue.
While I do love to cook everything from scratch, I’m all for a shortcut though, so if you don’t want to make a compote, you’ve several options.
Cherry and chocolate meringue wreath
Cherry ‘compote’ options
- Use a shop bought cherry compote
- Use a cherry pie filling (go for the best quality you can)
- Use a cherry preserve and a just warm it through with a bit of water to make it more sauce like
- Or make your own with 200g fresh/frozen pitted cherries, 100ml orange juice, 1 tsp cornflour, a pinch each of ground cinnamon and cloves, then simmer in a saucepan until thicker. Leave to cook before using.
6 egg whites
350g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp white wine vinegar
50g dark chocolate melted and cooled slightly
300 ml double cream or whipping cream
cherry compote (or variation)
(optional toasted chopped hazelnuts)
How to make
1, Preheat oven to 140C / 120C fan / Gas mark 1. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and mark out a circle around 25cm diameter in the centre.
2, Whisk egg whites into stiff peaks then add the sugar gradually until glossy and thick. Sift in the cornflour and pour in the vinegar and gently mix in.
3, Gently drizzle in a spoon of the melted chocolate. Don’t stir it in well, just one fold in because we want it marbled.
4, Spoon large equal scoops of the meringue around the circle to make a wreath shape (or any other shape you want).
5, Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the paper comes away easily, and leave it to cool. You can store if needed in an air tight tub for up to 2 days.
6, To serve, whip the cream then spoon it over the top of the wreath. Drizzle over the cooled compote and scatter either chocolate swirls or melted and slightly cooled chocolate.
7, Optional, sprinkle over chopped toasted hazelnuts for a bit of crunch.
How do you do your meringues?
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