Rhubarb, custard and white chocolate pavlova

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Rhubarb works so well with sweeter ingredients such as white chocolate, and of course, it always pairs perfectly with custard! All three are combined in this show stopping pavlova that’s a must when forced rhubarb is in season.

First published in 2023

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Rhubarb

  • 1kg rhubarb, trimmed into short lengths (the pink forced stuff looks particularly good here if it’s in season)
  • 250g of golden caster sugar

Pavlova

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt

Topping

Method

1

Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer very gently until the rhubarb is almost tender but still a little undercooked - around 6 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the liquid, then remove the rhubarb and place into a cold container

  • 1kg rhubarb, trimmed into short lengths (the pink forced stuff looks particularly good here if it’s in season)
  • 250g of golden caster sugar
2

Reserve the syrup and keep in a clean jar or container in the fridge to use in cocktails, mix with sparkling water, or use to flavour other desserts

3

Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2

4

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until it has all been incorporated, whisking for a few seconds between each addition. Whisk in the vinegar, vanilla extract and salt. It should be glossy and stiff

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
5

Draw a circle on a sheet of greaseproof paper approx. 25cm in diameter (although it doesn’t matter too much!) and place on a baking tray. Dollop the meringue onto the paper in one heap, then gently spread out, making a crater in the middle (which you will later fill with cream)

6

Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool completely

7

Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie and spread half over the back of a baking tray using an offset spatula. Transfer to a fridge, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spread the other half of the melted white chocolate - which should be slightly cooled - over the meringue

8

Use your offset spatula, a dough scraper or a butter knife to slide under the chocolate on the baking tray, pushing it up so it forms little curls and curved shards. If it shatters immediately into lots of small pieces it’s a little cold, allow it to warm up for a minute or so. If it’s too soft, return to the fridge for 5 minutes more, or until you have the right consistency. Store the curls in the fridge until needed

9

Whip the cream to soft peaks

  • 300ml of double cream
10

Once the chocolate has set, top with the custard, followed by whipped cream, and finally the rhubarb and chocolate shards

  • 300ml of custard
  • Chocolate shards, curls or grated chocolate, to decorate

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