Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

December is finally here, heralding the start of Winter. And with it a month of festive planning, carols by candlelight and sellotape everywhere! Since, here at home, we also celebrate two birthdays this month, the celebrating can seem never ending. I mean there’s only so much cake you can eat, isn’t there? Fear not, because this Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova is the perfect celebratory dessert.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Tips For The Perfect Pavlova:

Pavlovas always feel like such an elegant dessert. Yet they are simple to make as long as a few basic rules are followed. They cannot be rushed. Either during the whisking or baking stage. While whisking, all of the sugar must be given time to dissolve in the egg white, otherwise it will leak out during cooling and the meringue will collapse. Likewise, once baked the pavlova should be left to cool slowly, preferably in the oven as it also cools down. As a result of rushing this stage the meringue structure is likely to crack badly.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Do not let the previous advice put you off of making a pavlova. Rather it should encourage you. Take an extra five minutes (that’s 5 minutes not forever!) to ensure the meringue is properly mixed. Also bake the Pavlova in the evening, leaving it in the oven overnight to cool. Allowing the meringue to cool slowly overnight without tying up the oven.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Should the meringue crack, it will be covered with whipped cream and fruit. And no one ever need know!

Recipe: Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova serves 8

4 Large Free Range Egg Whites

200g/7oz Caster Sugar

Juice of half a Lemon

400ml Double Cream (Heavy Cream)

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey 

4 Fresh Figs – cut into quarters

300g Frozen Blackberries – I buy them from Waitrose 

1-2 Fresh Pomegranates – seeds removed

Optional – Fresh Mint to garnish

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4

Making the meringue base:

  • First of all draw an 8in/20cm circle on to a piece of baking parchment. Turn the paper over and place on to a baking tray.
  • Wipe around the inside of a very clean, large bowl with half a lemon.
  • Add four eggs white to the bowl and the juice of half a lemon.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff peak.
  • Continue whisking on a medium speed, slowly adding one tablespoon of sugar at a time to the egg whites.
  • When all of the sugar is added the mixture should be thick and glossy. Rub a little of the meringue between your finger and thumb, if it feels gritty continue to whisk. Check again after a couple of minutes. As soon as it feels smooth and silky it is ready.
  • Remove a small amount of the meringue and use it as glue to stick the baking parchment to the baking tray.
  • Spoon the meringue mixture on to the baking parchment, inside the circle.
  • Use a palette knife to shape the meringue into a disc, building up the outside edge.
FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Making the Pavlova base.

Baking the meringue:

  • Place the meringue into the centre of the oven and bake at the preheated temperature for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 120C/100C fan, 250F, gas mark 1/2 and continue to bake for 1 hour.
  • Do not open the oven during baking.
  • As soon as the baking time has elapsed turn off the oven and leave the meringue  to cool completely in the oven.
  • Once cooled remove the meringue from the oven.

Filling and decorating the Pavlova:

  • Pour the cream into a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste.
  • Whip the cream until it is thick but not stiff.
  • Carefully run a palette knife between the meringue and baking parchment.
  • Place the meringue on to a plate or cake stand.
  • Spoon the whipped cream on to the meringue.
  • Add the figs and blackberries. Finally sprinkle over with pomegranate seeds.
  • Garnish with fresh mint.
FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Baking and filling the Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

Fill and decorate the Pavlova 1-2 hours prior to serving. So that the blackberries can defrost.

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova

To serve, cut the Pavlova into slices and use a cake knife to transfer to a dessert plate.

The meringue pavlova base can be made a day in advance. Once filled and decorated keep the Pavlova refrigerated and away from strong smells. The Pavlova will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova you may also like these:

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova 

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

Blackberry Nectarine Tart 

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Blackberry Nectarine Tart

Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova 

FF Winter Fruit Topped Pavlova
Dark Chocolate Drizzle Pear Ginger Pavlova

With a crisp outer shell and marshmallow centre Pavlovas are a delicious dessert. Since they can be filled with many different combinations of fruit they are perfect for using seasonal or frozen fruit. While in this recipe the meringue has a whipped cream filling, see my Raspberry Topped Lemon Curd Pavlova for an alternative filling. Also all Pavlova recipes here on Feasting is Fun are gluten free (please see individual recipes for recommendations). As a result a festive winter feast that more people can enjoy.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

 

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Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Chocolate and Christmas go together like strawberries and cream in summer. Add in traditional candy canes and you have an incredible combination.  Using a fantastic Classic Brownie Kit makes baking these Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies a super delicious Christmas treat.  And don’t worry if you can’t get hold of the kit, there’s a link before the recipe to help you make them from scratch.

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

While I enjoy baking from scratch, I am not averse to keeping good quality mixes and baking kits in the kitchen.  Using the Classic Brownie Kit to whip up a batch of Brownies, makes the house smell amazing.  Adding extra mint chocolate chunks and a topping of crushed candy cane turns these into a festive treat. Especially handy during the busy Christmas holiday season.

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

As soon as you bite into these rich chocolate brownies a range of textures hits your mouth.  Soft fudgey chocolate brownie, crisp mint chocolate chunks, chewy crushed candy cane all blend together to create a flavour sensation.  Perfect for a quick bake when unexpected guests arrive.  Welcoming them in with the aroma of baking chocolate. Is there anything better?

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Everything you need to bake delicious Brownies is included in the kit.  Yet, if you are unable to get hold of the Classic Brownie Kit then please use the recipe for Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites.  Either halve the recipe, or double the quantity of candy canes, chocolate drizzle and mint chocolate.

Recipe: Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies makes 9

Classic Brownie Kit available from If I Knew You Were Coming

2 Large Free Range Eggs

115g/4.5oz Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature

50g/2oz Dark Mint Chocolate chopped into chunks – I use Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates

100g/4oz Milk Chocolate

2 Peppermint Candy Canes

Method: Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6.

  • First of all set out the baking tin included in the kit and place on to a baking tray.  Alternatively line a 9” x 9” square tin with aluminium foil.
  • Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof microwaveable bowl and heat on medium powder until just melted. Stir until completely liquid and set to one side to cool.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together until fully combined.
  • Pour the eggs slowly into the cooled chocolate mixture and stir to incorporate.
  • Sieve the cocoa and flour into the chocolate/egg mix and fold in until just combined.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Making the Brownie batter.
  • Pour the thick, chocolate, brownie batter into the prepared baking tin.
  • Scatter over the chocolate chips from the kit and the mint chocolate chunks.
  • Place the Brownies into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • The Brownies are baked when the top is set and shiny with a slight crackle. There should be a very slight jiggle in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • As soon as the Brownies are cooled peel away the foil.  Cut into 9 even sized squares and place on a cooling rack, spaced well apart.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Making, baking and cutting the brownies.
  • Melt the milk chocolate for drizzling in the microwave and transfer to a small, disposable piping bag.  Alternatively use a plastic zip lock bag and cut one corner off, leaving a small hole.
  • Take the candy canes and place in a small plastic bag.  Place on to a solid surface and use a rolling pin to break the canes into small pieces.
  • Drizzle melted chocolate over each individual brownie, then sprinkle over some crushed candy cane.
FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Finishing the Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Serve straight away, while the chocolate drizzle is still gooey.  Leave to set before storing in an airtight container.  Eat within 5 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies then you may also like these:

Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

FF Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Baking should be fun and not stressful. Having some reliable mixes and baking kits in the kitchen cupboard, especially during extra busy times of the year such as Christmas, simply makes sense. Also they make great presents for those who are just learning to bake. As well as being reliable the Complete Brownie Kit is also versatile see my recipe for Chocolate Brownie Raspberry Cheesecake.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

If I Knew You Were Coming provided the Complete Brownie Kit for me to make this recipe. I have not been paid to write this post. All content, opinions and photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies. Just think on the deliciousness that is these chocolatey wonders.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies utterly delicious Christmas treats. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies utterly delicious Christmas treats. www.feastingisfun.com

Hello everyone how is the run up to Christmas going for you?

This time of year can be completely manic and overwhelming for me and strange as it may seem, a day spent baking and creating, although a luxury, is a great way for me to chill out and really enjoy the festive season.

I have baked these Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies twice now, the second batch was larger because they disappeared so quickly the first time!

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies baking these is the perfect way to get into the festive mood, or escape the seasonal mayhem. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies baking these is the perfect way to get into the festive mood, or escape the seasonal mayhem. www.feastingisfun.com

Giving Cookies As Christmas Gifts

Ah the look on our little (teenagers but still my babies) cherubs face as I give these cookies away is priceless! I thought I’d done a pretty good job as a mum, teaching them to share. Apparently not!!! Because I’m sure these cookies would be kept in a locked safe if our children had their way.

Rich chocolate cookies, with a hint of brownie flavour, topped with melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Utterly divine, decadent and delicious.

The chocolate smell as these cookies bake will have people knocking at your front door, drawn by the aroma. If it could be bottled, the chocolate smell would be a hit. As it is, we get to bake the cookies and then eat them – sharing of course!

Due to their popularity, I would highly recommend making a double batch of the cookie dough. Since it’s hardly any extra effort and you can choose to bake all the cookies in one hit, or leave half of the dough in the fridge for up to a week.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies perfect to make, bake and decorate with children. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies perfect to make, bake and decorate with children. www.feastingisfun.com

My Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies make perfect presents. Pop a few in a cellophane bag, tie with pretty ribbon and hand out to friends, family, neighbours, the postman. I honestly don’t think a gift made with love by ourselves can be beaten.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a great gift for anyone who live cookies - like me!!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a great gift for anyone who loves cookies – like me!!! www.feastingisfun.com

Making these cookies is a whizz! Since the cookie dough comes together in moments, then rolled into a log, wrapped in cling film and refrigerated until it is firm. The chocolate, dough log is then sliced and the slices are baked. As soon as the cookies have cooled spoon on white chocolate, add sprinkles and wait to set.

Recipe : Makes approx 25 Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

150g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1/4tsp Salt

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut 

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Sprinkles for the top of the cookies, I’ve used holly leaves and berries which I found on Amazon.

Method:

Making the Chocolate Cookie Batter

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.
Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix slowly until you have all the ingredients are combined.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix slowly until you have all the ingredients combined.
You now have a bowl of the most delicious chocolate cookie dough!
You now have a bowl of the most delicious chocolate cookie dough!

Wipe your work surface with a clean, damp, cloth. Lay a good length of cling film onto the damp surface – the water ‘sticks’ the cling film in place so that it stays flat and doesn’t move.

Shaping the Cookie Dough

Place the dough onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape.
Place the dough onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape.
Wrap the dough up and roll the dough into a sausage shape approx 1.5"/3.5cm diameter.
Wrap the dough up and roll the dough into a sausage shape approx 1.5″/3.5cm diameter.

Place the dough log into the fridge for at least 2 hours (it will keep for a week, well wrapped). The dough log needs to be cold and firm before you can slice the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 180/160C fan, gas mark 4, 350F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (you may need to cook the cookies in batches). Remove the chocolate dough log from the fridge. Dont worry if the bottom of the log has flatted slightly, it just adds to the christmas pudding look.

Slicing and Baking the Cookies

Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into individual cookies approx 1cm/0.5" thick.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into individual cookies approx 1cm/0.5″ thick.
Place the uncooked cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing room for expansion between each cookie.
Place the uncooked cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing room for expansion between each cookie.

Place the baking trays into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending how thick/big your cookies are. My cookies took 20 minutes to bake.

It is difficult to tell when the cookies are cooked, due to their colour! They are baked when the surface looks dull however, they don’t set hard until cooled.

As soon as the cookies are baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking tray (it is fine to leave them to cool completely on the tray) you can then move them, using a palette knife to a cooling rack. If after 10 minutes cooling they break  when trying to transfer them, pop them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies place onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies place onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. www.feastingisfun.com

Once the cookies have completely cooled it’s time to get creative and frost them WITH CHOCOLATE!

Decorating the Cookies – Childs Play!

Chop or break up your white chocolate and place into a heat proof bowl. Either place the bowl on top of a saucepan as I did here  Chocolate Sparkle Cake , or melt the chocolate using a microwave, on medium setting, in short 20 second bursts, stirring after each zap! Remove the bowl just before the chocolate is completely melted and stir continuosly, the heat already in the bowl will melt the remaining chocolate.

Note: When making these cookies with children, if the bowl is hot, decant the melted chocolate into a cool bowl before decorating the cookies.

Melt the white chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate.

Using a teaspoon, place the melted chocolate on the top of the cookie, encouraging it to ‘drip’ down the ‘christmas pudding’ with the back of the spoon.

Place the chocolate covered cookie onto parchment paper, sprinkle on your chosen decoration and leave to set.
Place the chocolate covered cookie onto parchment paper, sprinkle on your chosen decoration and leave to set.

The effect is so easy, yet incredible. These Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies really do look like the real thing with cream dripping down from the top.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a double batch production!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a double batch production!! www.feastingisfun.com

Storing and Packaging the Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies last for a week in an air tight container. I used a tin to store ours in and placed a piece of parchment paper between each layer, to keep the cookie’s presentation perfect. This is good advice if you are cooking alone and making these ahead of time.

When baking and decorating these with children, to be completely honest, you will be very lucky to even see the chocolate set!! So it’s rather a nice idea to have some already made and packaged in small cellophane bags, tied with ribbon. This way the children can take home extra cookies to share with their families.

I’m assuming everyone bakes with their children and their friends, when they come round for tea?

If you are a teacher/teaching assistant/child minder or Sunday school teacher, making the undecorated biscuits ahead of time and then letting little and big kids alike decorate their own, is a wonderful pre-Christmas activity.

 

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies simply delicious www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies simply delicious www.feastingisfun.com

Whatever you do and whoever you bake the with and for, I hope you have lots of fun and the Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies bring smiles from all who see and eat them!

As well as these Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies you may like these other Christmas Bakes:

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies can you stop at one?

Sparkling Snowflake Cake

FF Sparkling Snowflake Cake
Sparkling Snowflake Cake edible diamonds and a dusting of flavoured icing sugar set this cake off www.feastingisfun.com

Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies 

FF Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Please post photos of your cookies on Twitter/Instagram and tag me in @sammiefeasting. I would love to see what fantastic decorations and creations you bake?

Do you enjoy the build up to Christmas or dread it?

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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