As we enter our 14th day of confinement here in France, I’m beginning to have itchy feet. My head’s in the clouds, dreaming of holidays and a change of scenery. I’m craving the hot sun, tropical views and most importantly, poolside cocktails. While the former two are off limits until further notice, cocktails are not. I was thinking of sharing with you today a simple recipe for one of my favourite cocktails, the classic Pina Colada, but seeing as the majority of us have a lot of spare time at the moment, I thought I’d amp things up and instead, share with you this recipe for a Pina Cola Merveilleux. It’s a little more complicated, a little more time consuming, but seriously worth the effort.
Many of you may be wondering what on earth a Merveilleux is, well, let me explain. The merveilleux originates from Belgium and consists two crispy, light, layers of meringue that are sandwiched together with whipped cream. It’s then covered in more cream and rolled in chocolate shavings. It reminds me a lot of a pavlova except there’s no fruit and the meringue is much crunchier. Seeing as I’m adding fruit, I guess what I’m making is somewhat of a Merveilleux/ Pavlova fusion. Call it what you want, it’s delicious.
Drawing inspiration from my favourite cocktail, the Pina Colada, I’ve filled the inside of the meringue with rum soaked pineapple and covered the exterior in a coconut whipped ganache and fresh coconut shavings. The combination is perfection. If you have some leftover pineapple or whipped ganache, serve it on the side as a little bonus for when you’re feeling extra indulgent.
TIP: Prepare the ganache and meringues the night before, so they’re ready to serve the next day.
Pina Colada Merveilleux
The Coconut Whipped Ganache
- 200 g of couverture white chocolate chopped into small pieces
- 180 g of coconut cream
- 200 g of heavy whipping cream
- 150 g of egg whites
- 280 g of caster sugar
- 2 tsp of cornflour
- ½ tsp of vinegar
The Rum Soaked Pineapple
- 1/2 sweet ripe pineapple
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 3 tbsp of dark rum optional
- 1 packet of desiccated coconut
The Coconut Whipped Ganache
- Roughly chop the white chocolate and set it aside in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, gently heat the coconut cream until it starts to boil. Be careful not to heat it too quickly as it can stick the bottom of the pan and easily burn. Once it starts to boil, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Next, whisk in the cream, then place in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- The next day, whip the coconut ganache with an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Set it aside in the fridge until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 120°C
- Place the eggwhites in large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until foamy. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar to the eggwhites one spoonful at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to beat until stiff peaks form (roughly 5 mins). Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Fill 6 silicone half-sphere moulds (roughly 6cm -8cm in diameter) with the meringue. Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a couple of spoonfuls of meringue from the middle (this is where you’ll hide the pineapple later). Place back in the oven for 2 hours. Allow to cool completely before demolding.
- Remove the core and skin from half a sweet, ripe pineapple. Finely dice it and place in a bowl with the sugar and rum. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Place the desiccated coconut on a large plate and set aside.
- Fill the meringue with pineapple, using a teaspoon to pack it in as firmly as possible without breaking the meringue. Next use a spatula to cover the meringue in a thick coat of whipped ganache then roll it in the desiccated coconut, using your hands to shape it into a ball.
- Serve with any leftover cream and pineapple on the side.