Recipe: Five spice pavlova wreath with coconut, cherries and Greek yoghurt cream

The pavlova, PHOTO: Dorset Food and Drink Photographer (Richard Budd)

The pavlova, PHOTO: Dorset Food and Drink Photographer (Richard Budd) - Credit: Dorset Food and Drink Photographer (Richard Budd)

Somerset Chef of the Year Steve James shares a dessert with a difference for your Christmas table

Five spice pavlova wreath with coconut, cherries and Greek yoghurt cream

For the pavlova


6 large egg whites

325g caster sugar

1tbsp corn flour

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1tbsp lemon juice

1tbsp Chinese five spice

For the filling


400g double cream

200g Greek Yoghurt

1tsp vanilla bean paste

25g icing sugar

For the cherry sauce


200g frozen cherries

60g caster sugar

100ml water

To serve

Pitted cherries

Edible gold leaf ( optional)

Chocolate curls

Black sesame seeds


1. Preheat the oven to 140C. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and draw a 30cm circle in the middle of the paper. Then draw a 15cm/6in circle in the centre of the larger circle to make your wreath shape.

2. Put the egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or use an electric whisk in a mixing bowl. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

3. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking on maximum speed until they are stiff and glossy. When they are ready if you rub a little between your fingers you should feel no grains.

4. Add the lemon juice and corn flour and stir into the egg whites.

5. Spoon the meringue onto the baking sheet and spread between the two circles to make a wreath shape. Make a dip in the meringue for the cream.

6. Transfer to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 120C Fan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the outside is hard but still white. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside for an hour or overnight to cool and dry.

7. Meanwhile make the sauce. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes until the cherries are soft and the sauce is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Blend and strain, set aside until you serve.

8. To assemble, whip the cream with the vanilla paste and icing sugar until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gently fold in the Greek yoghurt and then spoon the cream onto the meringue.

9. Decorate with the cherry sauce, cherries, chocolate and black sesame using edible gold leaf if you wish.

To see more Christmas recipes, including chicken in English sparkling wine with roasted grapes, see the December 2020 edition of Somerset Life.

Find the latest discussions around Christmas in Somerset here

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