I have been suffering from early onset Christmas-itis of late. The are numerous symptoms: listening to Christmas music; obsessively pinning on my Pinterest Christmas board, making ornaments and, this is clearly an advanced case, making not one but two gingerbread houses last weekend. Most, if not all, of these symptoms can be attributed to the fact that I have been creating seasonal recipes and features for other websites which have put me in a premature Christmassy mood. The symptoms have spread to the children – they had to decorate a gingerbread house with their friends – and now we are watching Frosty the Snowman and the Muppet Christmas Carol around the clock. I wonder if we have peaked a little early this year!
I was making a Pavlova for one of my freelance recipe gigs and I had some leftover meringue from doing the step photos and plenty of gingerbread biscuits from the other recipe so of course I had to put the two together… It is a marriage made in heaven! So good, so easy and the meringues can be made in advance and given out as gifts too… I would like to thank Green & Blacks for supplying some of their fantastic chocolate for me to play with – receiving chocolate in the post is definitely one of my favourite things!
I used Biscoff spread folded in the whipped cream (that stuff is hugely addictive!) but if you can’t find any blitz 6 gingerbread or digestive biscuits until you have very fine crumbs and fold 3 tablespoons in the cream instead (reserve some to sprinkle on top as well). I think this would work really well with crunchy peanut butter instead of Biscoff.
- 3 large egg whites (90g | 3 fl oz)
- 180g | 6.3oz (caster) sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnammon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 200g Green & Blacks 70% chocolate, melted and cooled
- (can also use milk chocolate if you prefer)
- 250ml | 1 cup double cream
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 tbsp Biscoff spread, heated until runny
- crushed gingerbread or Lotus biscuits to serve
- Preheat the oven to 125C | 250F. Line a large tray with baking paper.
- Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer (making sure it is spotlessly clean or the meringue may flop). Lightly whisk together until frothy.
- Start whisking at high speed and add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Once all the sugar has been added, stop the mixer and sift the cornflour and spices over the meringue. Add the vanilla paste and continue whisking at high speed until the meringue is glossy, forms stiff peaks and doesn't feel gritty.
- Add 3 tablespoons of melted chocolate and gently fold until barely mixed in.
- Spoon large dollops of the meringue on the prepared tray, spaced slightly apart, and drizzle with some melted chocolate.
- Lower the oven to 100C | 210F and bake the meringues for an hour or until they don't stick to the baking paper any more.
- Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave the meringues to cool in the oven.
- Whisk the cream, vanilla paste and icing sugar until you have soft peaks and then fold in the Biscoff spread.
- Top the meringues with the whipped cream, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with some crushed biscuits to serve.