This chestnut pavlova recipe is fabulously festive: an exuberant, rich, and luxurious treat for the holidays. The meringue base is crisp on the outside with a soft marshmallowy interior,topped with sweetened chestnut puree (sometimes labeled "chestnut spread;" seek out Clement Faugier brand) followed by swaths of softly whipped cream and splinters of bitter chocolate. This chestnut pavlova is, despite appearances, a relatively easy affair. The only complicated part is the meringue base, and, provided you stash it in a completely airtight container, it can be made 2 days in advance. Handle the baked meringue carefully,as it is quite fragile.
A wooden skewer, dowel, or chopstick is the only special tool needed to make this crispy scrunched phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and drizzled with sugary syrup. A splash of fresh lemon juice adds bright, zesty flavor to the syrup that balances both the sweetness of the pastry and the rich, buttery walnuts. The recipe is from Roberta Kochakian of Los Angeles, who is descended from a family of Armenian Genocide survivors and has devoted much of her life to chronicling traditional Armenian recipes and cooking techniques.
Roasting nuts with curry powder enhances the flavor and aroma of both. Add the rice syrup while the nuts are still warm to soften the syrup for easier stirring. Slideshow: More Nut Recipes