- 280g (2 cups) roasted hazelnuts, plus extra, to serve
- 8 egg whites (see related article)
- 440g (2 cups) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 400g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 750ml (3 cups) thickened cream
- 6 bananas
- Step 1Making the meringue: Position 3 shelves in oven and preheat to 140C. Prepare trays (see note). Process nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites on high speed to stiff peaks, then gradually add sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla, and whisk to just incorporate. Remove bowl from mixer. Gently fold in nuts until combined. Divide meringue among trays, spooning it into a mound in the centre of each marked circle.
- Step 2Baking the meringues: Using a palette knife or back of a spoon, spread meringue to fill marked circles. Place trays in oven, bake for 30 minutes, then, wearing oven gloves, swap trays: move bottom tray to middle shelf, middle tray to top shelf and top tray to bottom shelf. Bake for a further 30 minutes. Turn oven off and place a wooden spoon in oven door to keep it ajar. Leave meringues in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Set aside for 1 hour or until completely cool.
- Step 3Making the ganache: Break chocolate into pieces. Place with 300ml cream in a heatproof bowl. Pick a saucepan that the bowl will fit snugly over. Fill one-third full with water. Place over low–medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Place bowl over pan (make sure it doesn’t touch the water). Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from pan. Set aside for 30 minutes or until thickened and cool.
- Step 4Assembling the stack: Using an electric mixer, whisk remaining 450ml cream to soft peaks. Using claw and bridge techniques, slice bananas and halve extra nuts. Place 1 meringue on a plate. Spoon over one-third of the ganache, then half the cream. Top with half the bananas.
- Step 5Finishing & serving the stack: Repeat layering with a second meringue, another one-third of the ganache and the remaining cream and bananas. Top with remaining meringue, then spoon over remaining ganache. Scatter with extra nuts. Refrigerate the stack for 30 minutes to firm before serving.
- High fibre
- High protein
- Low sodium
Allow an extra 2 1/2 hours to cool pavlovas and firm the stack.
For a variation, substitute strawberries for the bananas. You could even use a combination of both!
The secret to a good meringue is to whisk a lot of air into the egg whites. Any trace of fat, from a dirty bowl or a bit of yolk, will prevent this.
Preparing trays: Tear off 3 sheets of baking paper large enough to line 3 oven trays. Place a 20cm plate or bowl in the centre of 1 sheet of paper, then, using a pencil, trace around the plate to mark a 20cm circle. Repeat with remaining sheets. Grease trays, then place sheets, marked-side down, on trays.
- Author: Anna Gare
- Image credit: Mark Roper
- Publication: MasterChef