Thanks to all those of you who offered advice on my pudding and egg white dilemma last week. Apologies to those whose advice I subsequently ignored :)
I actually went ahead with the crazy winter pavlova idea, and it actually turned out reasonably nice. (At least, I thought it did. And other people said they liked it, though they may have just been polite.) I had some leftovers the day after, and they were definitely at the "leftover" stage, a little soft/soggy for meringue, but not to the point of inedibility. But the pavlova coped fine with being assembled around 6ish and eaten around 9ish.
deborahw37 requested a picture, but I'll put it behind a cut in case the rest of you have had quite enough of my culinary excess this month.
Pavlova shells are, apparently, meant to be the purest white. One bit of advice I read on t'internet said "do not allow the meringue to colour", but gave no suggestion as to how you enforce this. From experience, I can tell you shouting at the oven doesn't work. The mother tells me that cooking it at an even lower temperature, for even longer, is the right answer. I say stuff that, I quite like the faint pinky-beige my pavlova ends up, and it tastes fine.
Actually, this one was rather more coloured than expected. When browsing recently to find out what 2016's resolutions were (answer: I didn't make any, or if I did I didn't post them here) I found my first post from 2016. In it, I point out that my cooker has basically gone mad and urgently needs replacing. Unfortunately, finding a replacement wasn't trivial, and then a few weeks later I bust my knees and real life basically went on hold. We have (in the past week) resurrected Operation Get A New Cooker, not least because this one now also appears to be wildly unpredictable in terms of temperature. It was very slow when cooking choux buns on Dec 31st, then woefully fast doing this a week later.
Anyway, once I'd splattered the meringue with dark chocolate and ginger ganache I decided that the colour wasn't really that much of an issue. It had also collapsed a bit, so I'd had a surreptitious nibble on a broken edge to check it didn't taste burned at all.
I baked the apple slices with cinnamon and brown sugar (and a small amount of cornflour so they didn't go too wet and runny), and piled them in the middle. I was going to be lazy and just blob the whipped cream in, but I overwhipped it due to trying to do two things at once, and was worried that it would be too stiff to spread without dragging the apple with it. Ah well, at least the nozzles and piping bags I got for Christmas are getting a workout!
I grated a bit more chocolate on the top - with hindsight, I should have grated it into a bowl and then sprinkled it. That way I'd have got it just on the cream and not ended up with it stuck all over the ganache as well.
Photo taken from poor choice of angle, it maximises the view of the collapsed bit at the edge!