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This dou­ble-layer pavlova is the per­fect doa­head, fes­tive crowd-pleaser. It’s per­fumed with cloves, cin­na­mon and nut­meg, which marry beau­ti­fully with the choco­late semifreddo sand­wiched in be­tween. Be­gin this a day early to freeze the semifreddo.


225g (about 6) egg whites

1½ cups raw caster sugar

1½ tsp white vine­gar

2 tsp corn­flour

1 tsp ground cin­na­mon

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp finely grated nut­meg

300ml thick­ened cream

150g sour cream

Dutch co­coa, choco­late curls or shav­ings and hazel­nut pra­line, to serve


6 egg yolks

70g raw caster sugar

50ml brandy

300ml thick­ened cream

150g sour cream

200g milk choco­late, melted

200g dark choco­late (around 60 per cent co­coa solids), melted 1 Pre­heat oven to 150°C. Trace an 18cm cir­cle on 2 pieces of bak­ing pa­per. Place each pa­per, pen­cil-side down, on 2 lightly oiled oven trays.

2 Whisk egg whites and pinch of salt in elec­tric mixer (or use beat­ers) to soft peaks (4-5 min­utes). With mo­tor run­ning, slowly add sugar and whisk un­til firm and glossy (2-3 min­utes). Whisk in vine­gar, then fold in corn­flour and spices.

3 Spread a third of meringue over one cir­cle, smooth­ing the top. Pile re­main­ing meringue in the other cir­cle, form­ing peaks and swirls on top. Place in oven, re­duce to 120°C and bake un­til crisp but not coloured (1¼-1½ hours). Turn off heat and leave in oven with door closed for at least 6 hours or overnight.

4 For semifreddo, whisk yolks, sugar and brandy in a heat­proof bowl over a pan of gen­tly sim­mer­ing wa­ter un­til mix­ture is thick, pale and falls from a lifted whisk in a thick rib­bon (6-7 min­utes). Whisk in an elec­tric mixer un­til cooled to room tem­per­a­ture (4-5 min­utes).

5 Mean­while, in a sep­a­rate bowl whisk creams to soft peaks. Fold both melted choco­lates into egg mix­ture, then fold in the whipped cream.

6 Place flat meringue in a 22cm round cake tin lined with bak­ing pa­per. Spread semifreddo on top, smooth, then top with larger meringue. Freeze overnight, then cover top of tin and keep frozen (it will keep for 2 weeks).

7 Whisk creams to soft peaks. Run a hot, wet knife around tin and re­move pavlova. Place on a plate, top with cream, dust with co­coa and dec­o­rate with choco­late and pra­line, then serve.

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