Green Tea Meringue with Tipsy California Prune Ganache

From Great British Chefs – Pascal Aussignac
Pascal Aussignac deconstructs a classic Pavlova, and gives it a French twist, to create this beautiful California Prune dessert. Keeping the traditional combination of crunchy meringue, soft fruit and luxurious whipped cream, Pascal adds vibrancy and colour with a fragrant green tea meringue, and richness and depth from his tipsy ganache – a decadent mix of Armagnac-infused California Prunes and white chocolate. The three elements of this dessert can all be made ahead, making it perfect for a dinner party dessert.

Makes: 4Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 30 minutes


  • For the Green Tea Meringue:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 80g of icing sugar
  • 3g of matcha
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • For the Tipsy Prune Ganache:
  • 12 California Prunes
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 200ml water
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g Armagnac
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • To serve: 
  • 100g double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C.   Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. To make the green tea meringue, place the egg whites and pinch of salt in a large, clean bowl and whisk together to a soft peak. Slowly whisk in the caster sugar a spoonful at a time, then the icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Gently stir through the matcha powder to create an even green colour.
  3. Spread the meringue out across the lined baking tray (use a dab of the mixture to stick down the baking paper if needed) to a thickness of 1cm. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely. This can be stored in an airtight container until needed.
  4. Meanwhile, place the California Prunes in a small pan and cover with the water. Add the sugar, Armagnac, citrus zests, and a twist of black pepper. Stir together and cook over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the prunes have softened and infused. Set aside to cool in the pan.
  5. Place the double cream in a large bowl and lightly whip until soft and voluminous. Store in the fridge until ready to serve – this can be prepared up to a few hours ahead.
  6. Place the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water – being careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water – and leave to melt, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the California Prunes from the poaching liquor and finely chop. Once melted, remove the chocolate from the heat and stir through the chopped California Prunes to create a thick, chunky ganache – add a little of the poaching liquor if it seems too thick, although the mixture should hold its shape nicely when spooned. Place in the fridge until serving.
  8. When ready to serve, scoop the California Prune ganache into a large quenelle on each plate, and add a few spoonful’s of the whipped cream. Roughly crumble over the green tea meringue so you have a mix of large pieces and fine crumbs.
  9. Serve immediately.


Pascal Aussignac

Pascal Aussignac's name is synonymous with "la cuisine de Gascogne". With a Michelin star and a host of French restaurants in his stable, Aussignac's understanding - and reworking - of Gascony's fare is unsurpassed. By the age of 25, after training with Gerard Vie, a respected chef at Les Trois Marches and French masters Alain Dutournier and Guy Savoy, Aussignac knew he wanted to open his own restaurant. Undeterred by cautious French banks unwilling to back a talented but young chef, Aussignac brought the no-nonsense Gascon cuisine of southwest France to London where he found a willing audience. It is in the British capital that Aussignac has thrived. In 1998, he opened Club Gascon where.the focus was - and remains - on informal, traditional, regional food dedicated to the Gascon region. Whilst the Gallic chef remains faithful to those modest origins, his food has evolved into more refined fare. Rustic yet innovative, Aussignac is curious in his experimentation and the likes of wasabi Chantilly sits comfortably on the menu alongside cassoulet. The restaurant was duly awarded a Michelin star in 2002. Aussignac is co-owner of the Gascon Connection group, which boasts an impressive roster, consisting of flagship restaurant Club Gascon and Cellar Gascon wine bar - both in Smithfield; Comptoir Gascon, a romantic, gourmet bistro in Charterhouse Street; Cigalon and Baranis - a Provençal restaurant and bar respectively, on Chancery Lane; and Chip + Fish in Westfield, London, Stratford City and Trinity, Leeds. As well as a Michelin star, which has been maintained for over a decade, in 2013 Aussignac was named "Restaurant Chef of the Year" at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards. His inventive approach to southwestern French cuisine has also won him the top accolade at the Taste of London festival no less than three times, where foie gras and truffle burgers, and Marmite Royale with soldiers, impressed judges with their ingenuity.