We’ve been back a week now from our first family holiday abroad. Self catering abroad is for most Brits the closest they’ll ever get to living their Bear Grylls fantasy. There’s the first and most important task of finding a safe drinking water source, usually bottled, then using it for everything; tooth cleaning, tea making, drinking. Some Brits even bathe in bottled water I have heard.
There’s the once yearly opportunity to use their Christmas pressie Swiss Army Penknife to deftly carve up a watermelon, or less adventurously, an apple. There’s the outing to forage for potential ingredients in the local supermarket to make the family breakfast with. And of course, there’s the marking of territory through sunbed baggysy-ing, though I hasten to add we did not participate in this pastime.
Lastly, there’s the longing for familiar foodstuffs. Like Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut. If I’d had an oven in our little apartment this is what I would have made to remind me of this mighty chocolate that will forever taste of home.
Chocolate, fruit and nut pavlova
– 120g egg whites (about 4 but depends on size of your eggs)
– 200g castor sugar
– 5g cornflour
– 5mls white wine vinegar
– 200g double cream
– 100g roasted hazelnuts
– 100g dried fruit (I used dried cherries and sultanas)
– 200g milk chocolate, melted
Whisk your egg whites until beginning to hold their peaks. (Wire whisk attachment for KitchenAid, medium speed.) Then whisk in 1 teaspoon of the castor sugar at a time. Once the sugar’s all in, the mixture should look really white and glossy, then add in the cornflour and white wine vinegar. Whisk again. Pop some foil or baking parchment on a baking tray, fixing it down with a little sticky meringue. Then spoon about the meringue onto the foil/parchment to make a large circle – check it fits your serving platter!
Bake at the bottom of a preheated oven at 140C. (For this is the coolest area of most ovens and we’re trying to dry this meringue out, not bake him so that he browns.) As soon as it goes into the oven turn it down to about 100C, or 90C for a fan. Then after 1.5 hours turn the oven off entirely but don’t open it. Leave the meringue to slowly come to room temperature for a few hours. Easier to just make this last thing at night and leave them until the morning in your oven.
Once completely cold fill with whipped double cream and stud with nuts and fruit. Drizzle melted chocolate all over the top.
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