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Donal's black forest pavlova

Throughout December, Donal has been travelling across Europe to visit some of the world’s most magical Christmas Markets. To end his whistle-stop festive tour, he’s visiting a traditional market with a different feel in Berlin, before heading back to his kitchen to whip up a black forest pavlova.


For the meringue:

250g icing sugar

4 egg whites

2 tsp cornflour

1 tsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp cocoa powder


For the filling & topping:

1 litre double cream, whipped

2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

3 tbsp kirsch

500g jar Morello cherries in syrup

100g dark chocolate, thick shavings

75g hazelnuts, skinless, toasted, blitzed to a rough dust


1. Preheat the oven to 150˚C/300˚F/Gas Mark 2. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Draw a large circle 20cm in diameter on each piece of parchment paper.

2. Place the icing sugar and egg whites in a standing food mixer and whisk on high for 10 minutes until glossy, white, stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cocoa powder, cornflour and the white wine vinegar.

3. Divide the meringue mixture between the two baking trays and using a tablespoon, shape into two large meringue discs. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

4. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until quite firm, make sure not to over-whip it, then fold through the kirsch.

5. Drain the cherries over a small sauce pan to reserve the cherry juice. Reduce over a medium heat until you are left with a thick, pourable mixture. Set aside to cool completely.

6. To assemble the pavlova: place a layer on a cake stand and top with half the cream. Add the next layer of meringue and then top with the remaining cream. Decorate with the drained cherries, chocolate shavings, toasted hazelnuts and drizzle with the reduced cherry juice and serve straight away.

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