Merry Christmas! A Chestnut Cream Pavlova to Celebrate

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chestnut cream pavlova

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas celebration with your friends, family and loved ones.

Christmas in our home today started with a leisurely breakfast … until the children realised that they could open their Christmas stockings once they had finished their meal. I had never seen them chomp down their toast and scull their milk so quickly! Santa had been very generous with his delivery of little music boxes (playing French nursery rhymes), as well as a few wind-up toys which have kept the children quite entertained for most of the day, more so than some of the big-ticket items from under the tree which, ultimately, hardly elicited any reaction! (note to self for next year …)

{Duck Confit Parmentier with Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and bacon}

Christmas lunch this year was a small family affair, which meant less stress in the kitchen and more time watching everyone open and enjoy their presents (including a shiny new handbag for moi!!). This year, I made a Duck Confit Shepherd’s Pie, which was a dish we made at Mimi Thorisson’s Manger Workshop last month. Duck confit is one of my all-time favourite dishes (you can find my recipe here), and I think turning it into a Shepherd’s Pie sort of takes it up a notch. I hope to share the recipe here very soon.

Alongside the main dish, we had our Christmas favourite, Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts. For this dish, I like to use really small Brussels sprouts, and I am thankful to one of my regular vendors at the farmers’ markets for providing extra teeny tiny Brussels sprouts this year; most were the size of small grapes! Our son managed to surprise us by requesting additional serves of Brussels sprouts, something which I plan to exploit for as long as they are in season 😉

chestnut cream pavlova

And for the pièce de résistance, I made our favourite Chestnut Cream Pavlova for dessert. This year, I scaled down the pavlova to serve 2-4 people, and I took the easy route by using a can of sweetned chestnut purée instead of making my own.

chestnut cream pavlova

chestnut cream pavlova

chestnut cream pavlova

chestnut cream pavlova

Using tinned sweetened chestnut purée made this dessert super easy and stress-free for me. I daresay that I will be adopting this shortcut from hereon! But as tinned sweetened chestnut purée is not always readily available, it’s good to know how to make your own using the recipe which I have provided with my Mont Blanc Pavlova recipe (it’s a similar recipe to the Chestnut Cream Pavlova below, but makes a larger chocolate pavlova and has instructions on how to make your own sweetened chestnut purée).

chestnut cream pavlova

My son has been asking for this pavlova each night since our Christmas lunch, and I think I might have to indulge him. With all of the egg yolks which we used to make multiple batches of Gingerbread Sablé in the past few weeks, I have so many eggwhites stashed away in the freezer, just waiting to be transformed into something irresistible like this pavlova. Bon appétit everyone!

chestnute cream pavlova

Chestnut Cream Pavlova
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 2-4
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa, sifted
  • 40 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 250 ml (1 cup) double cream (whipping cream)
  • 250 g (8.75 oz) tinned sweetened chestnut purée (such as this one by Clément Faugier)
  • small piece of dark chocolate for decorating
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until they have tripled in volume and stiff peaks have formed.
  3. Slowly whisk in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
  4. Add the cornflour, vinegar and cocoa. Mix until everything is combined thoroughly.
  5. Gently fold through the chopped chocolate.
  6. Place a sheet of baking paper onto a baking sheet. Dollop the pavlova mixture onto the baking paper. Use a spatula to smooth the mixture into a round shape, and flatten the top of the pavlova.
  7. Place the pavlova into the oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C.
  8. Bake the pavlova for 1 hour. Turn off the oven but do not open the oven door. Leave the pavlova to cool completely in the oven with the door closed.
  9. Assemble the pavlova just before serving.
  10. Whisk the cream until it is thick and soft.
  11. Spread the sweetened chestnut cream over the pavlova.
  12. Top with the whipped cream.
  13. Grate the chocolate over the cream.

Cook’s Notes

As the pavlova needs time to cool down completely in the oven, I often make the pavlova the night before serving, and leave it to cool in the oven overnight. If you don’t need to use the oven during the day, you can also make it first thing in the morning, ready to be served later that evening.

The pavlova should be assembled just prior to serving, so that it remains crisp for as long as possible.

Share your photos!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

 

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8 Comments

  1. Luci's Morsels 23 January 2017

    This is stunning! I’ve never made a pavlova so tall!! And I had no idea about freezing egg whites. Genius!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 January 2017

      I have a freezer overflowing with frozen eggwhites! I see many pavlovas in our near future 😉

      Reply
  2. Thanh I love chestnuts and this looks amazing. Pavlova is one of my favourite desserts, I’ve never made my own chestnut puree, it must be a lot of work.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 January 2017

      Making your own chestnut purée is not so difficult, and it gets easier each time. I once had an over-supply of vacuum-sealed chestnuts and made several batches of sweetened purée for desserts – it was perfect 🙂 It tastes much better than the store-bought variety, not least because you can control the sweetness, and it’s also handy to know if you can’t buy sweetened chestnut purée where you are. But then, sometimes sourcing chestnuts as they are is hard enough, too! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jovita @ Yummy Addiction 23 January 2017

    This Pavlova look out of this world good. Love the addition of chestnuts!

    Reply
  4. Sarah @ Champagne Tastes 24 January 2017

    I was seriously just looking at some chestnut puree in the store and wondering what in the world to use it on– this sounds amazing!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 January 2017

      As a child, I used to eat sweetened chestnut purée as it is (they are also sold in tubes). Another easy way of serving it is simply with some whipped cream with maybe some grated chocolate on top 🙂

      Reply

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