A pavlova filled with cranberry jelly might seem like an advanced move, but actually it turns a sunken-centred pav into a delicious Christmas triumph.
6 egg whites
1½ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
¼ tsp cream of tartar
600ml thickened cream
2 cups mixed red berries, to serve
mint leaves, to serve
10 gelatine leaves (McKenzie's brand)
1 litre cranberry juice
1. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until glossy. About halfway through adding the sugar, stir the cornflour and cream of tartar into the sugar, and continue to beat for a further 5 minutes after all the sugar has been added. (The whole process should take about 15 minutes and you should not be able to feel any grains of sugar when you rub the mixture between your fingers.)
2. Spread the pavlova on a baking tray in scoops with a spatula, pressing from the centre only to create a natural edge on the pavlova. Smooth the top.
3. Heat your oven to 110C fan-forced (130C conventional). Bake for 90 minutes, then allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven, with the door wedged open just a crack with a wooden spoon.
4. For the jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Place the cranberry juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Squeeze excess moisture from the gelatine leaves and add them to the cranberry juice. Whisk until the gelatine has fully dissolved, then pour into a round or square tray so that the jelly is about 2cm thick. Refrigerate for about 4 hours until the jelly is set firm. Whip the cream to soft peaks.
5. Once the pavlova has cooled, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. If the pavlova is sunken in the middle, crack the top to create a well in the centre. Turn the jelly out onto a cutting board with a piece of baking paper on top (you can loosen the jelly from the tray with a little hot water.) Cut the jelly into a shape that will fit either into or on top of your pavlova (reserving any excess jelly) and carefully transfer it. It doesn't matter if the jelly breaks a little. You can even cut the jelly into cubes and place them in, or over the top of, the pavlova, if you prefer.
6. Cover the jelly completely with the whipped cream. Cut the remaining jelly into large cubes to decorate the pavlova, arranging them on top with the berries and mint.
Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.