This a family favourite. A spectacular vision of layered pavlovas, embellished with Autumn berries and ghosts.
- 8 free range egg whites
- 500g Caster sugar
- 4 tsp cornflour
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- To decorate
- I punnet of blackberries
- 1 punnet of golden berries
- Icing sugar
- 700ml cream, whipped until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed
- 100g icing sugar
- 50g dark chocolate melted
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Line 4 baking trays with baking parchment and draw 2 x 8inch and one x 7inch diameter circles onto each tray. The last tray is for the ghosts.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then whisk in the sugar, one tablespoonful at a time, until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- Sprinkle the corn flour and vinegar over the egg white, and fold in lightly with a metal spoon.
For the Ghosts:
- Spoon some meringue into a piping bag shaking the mixture down to the bottom of the bag. Hold the piping bag with both hands, placing one hand at the top of the bag and your other hand halfway down the bag.
- Hold the bag steady, about 2cm above the tray, and squeeze the bag from the top to start forming the body of your ghost. Keep the bag completely still while squeezing, using your lower hand to keep the bag steady.
- Stop squeezing once the meringue hits the tray. Lift the piping bag a tiny amount, without creating a break between the meringue on the tray and the meringue left in the piping bag.
- Drop the bag back down again and squeeze gently to form the top part of the ghost's body.
- Lift the piping bag straight up to leave a peak on the top of your ghosts' heads. Repeat until you have 8 ghosts.
For the Pavlova layers:
- Spoon the meringue onto the baking parchment within the marked circles using a spatula to flatten the top and smooth the sides.
- Place into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 120C/250F/Gas ½. Cook for an hour, then turn off the oven and leave to cool completely.
- Once cool, remove the meringue bases from the oven (you can keep the meringue in an airtight container for a couple of days or store in the freezer for up to one month).
- Once Ghosts have cooled, gently melt 50g dark chocolate in a microwave and use a small paint brush to paint on the faces. Draw two big, droopy eyes and an open mouth..
- An hour before serving, assemble the pavlova.
- Fold cream and icing sugar together.
- To assemble, place 8inch circle of meringue on serving plate, top with half the cream, sprinkle with blackberries and golden berries top with next 8inch circle and the remaining cream, sprinkle with blackberries and golden berries, followed by the 7 inch top layer.
- Pile the remaining cream on top, decorate with Ghosts . Give a good dusting of icing sugar before serving