Walnut Pavlova with cream cheese topping and strawberries

walnut meringue cake wholeI’m not a big fan of light fluffy desserts but I do like Macarons, so this is kind of like a large luscious Macaron!  The base is succulent and chewy, the topping a cloud of velvety creaminess.  If you don’t fancy the cream cheese topping, whipped cream will make a perfect replacement.   Strawberries can also be replaced with any fruit you wish.  This dessert doesn’t require delicate hands, its quite robust.

5 large egg whites or 6 small

260g sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

100g plain sweet biscuits, crushed

85g walnuts, crushed

Sliced strawberries, to serve

Cream cheese icing

250g cream cheese

300 mls single cream

2 tbs icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170C.  Grease and line the base and sides of a 22cm spring form cake pan.  If you have a smaller one, that’s fine, you will have a little left over.

2. Using an stand mixer, whisk egg whites to soft peaks.  Add sugar 1 tbs at a time (no need to pause in between scoops, you are just aiming for a steady flow of sugar).  Beat until stiff and glossy.

3. Gently fold in crushed nuts and biscuits.  Pour into pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 30 mins until golden and top is dry.  Cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, for icing beat cream cheese until soft, then add remaining ingredients.  Spread over cooled caked and top with strawberries.