“I came up with the idea for this Meringue Christmas Tree when I was dreaming up desserts that guests can have fun with and assemble themselves. They’ll have more fun, and more importantly, it’s less stressful for you! One giant meringue Christmas tree in the middle of the table then becomes the pavlova at the end of the meal. Simply put, it’s bowls of ice-cream, whipped cream, custard and fresh fruit and everyone breaks off shards of meringue to create their own masterpiece!” says Katelyn.
Watch this video to see just how easy it is to make:
- 10 large egg whites
- 550g Natura Golden Caster Sugar
- 150ml cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Natura Demerara Icing Sugar, for dusting
- Decorate with gold leaf, chocolate stars or any other desired decorations.
- Whipped cream and berries, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 100°C and line two to three large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
- Trace star shapes onto one side of the baking paper, ranging from 25cm wide to 5cm wide then flip the paper over onto a baking tray. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip to stiff peaks.
- Combine the corn flour and caster sugar, then gradually start adding the mix, little by little, continuing to whip, until the meringue is very thick and glossy.
- Whisk in the vanilla, then place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
- Pipe the meringue into star shapes on the templates created.
- Place in the preheated oven to dry (wedge a wooden spoon between the oven and the oven door to keep it ajar) until the meringues are crisp, but still soft in the middle. This can take between one and two hours.
- Take out and allow to cool completely.
- Once all the meringue stars have dried out and cooled, stack the stars on top of each other. Twist each star so the points don’t all face the same way.
- Decorate with desired decorations and dust generously with icing sugar.
- Serve the meringue Christmas tree with whipped cream and berries.
Because this is quite a structure, you’re going to need to make sure you make a really good meringue!
Katelyn shares her top tips:
- Use room temperature egg whites
- Make sure your bowl and whisks are sparkling clean – any grease or fat will stop the whites from frothing.
- There shouldn’t be any egg yolk in sight.
- Use a really good-quality sugar, I love the Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar because it’s unrefined, which means it’s not just sweet, it has a light caramel flavour that adds so much extra flavour “oomph” to the meringue! The fine texture is also important, because it dissolves and forms a crisp shell.
- Beat the egg whites to soft peaks form before you start adding the sugar, and then add it gradually – not all at once.
- Whip the meringue until the Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar is completely dissolved.
- The meringue stars can be made up to a week before serving, which means the only thing you need to worry about on Christmas Day is stacking and decorating them.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.