Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chocolate Pavlova

So "United Nation Week" continues...

After sunday's Italian night, we had:

Monday: Chinese (I wasn't too happy about this as we almost had chinese food everynight in the past 2 weeks.) I made bean curd pillows.

Tuesday: Korean Gamjatang. I found the recipe on Maangchi website and I did a bit of alteration according to my taste. Surprisingly, it tasted really good! I will definitely make it again.

Wednesday: tonight is Thai night and we had chicken padthai. Another quick and easy dinner and both of us were very full!

I was going to make dessert last night with my leftover egg whites from the previous custard filling for my croquembouche. I absolutely adore the almond egg white crunch cake that I had years ago at my friend's birthday but I had no clue what it is called and therefore cannot search for a recipe online. I settled down with a similar recipe that I can still use up my egg whites - a pavlova. A pavlova is a simple dessert made with a meringue base, whipped cream and fruit. I settled with Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe as I have every ingredient ready at my place.

The pavlova ended up to be tonight's dessert instead, as last night when I finished baking, it was already 11:20 and it's too late to eat anything before I go to bed. The meringue is easy to make but it took a long time to bake. Good thing they keep well and can be made ahead of time!

I did not follow the recipe diligently as I should have, but I have no regrets. It's airy and light. The chocolate is not overpowering. It's a good after meal dessert.

Cherry's version of Chocolate Pavlova
3 egg whites
120g caster sugar (I took out 30g of it from the original recipe)
1.5 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
a tiny splash of good quality balsamic vinegar
25g dark chocolate (I used 85% Valhrona chocolate as I used up my baker's chocolate blocks)

1/2 cup 35% whipping cream
1 pound strawberries, cleaned and hulled, chopped and add1 tbsp strawberry jam and mix

1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees F.
2. Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks then add sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. Sieve over cocoa and add vinegar, and gently fold in finely chopped chocolate to the mixture. Pipe 6 circles of mixture on a paper lined tray, each about 4 inches in diameter. Pipe a ring on top of each circles to form a bowl.
3. Put the tray in the preheated oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven, pop the oven door ajar and leave it in until it is completely cooled.
4. To serve, whip the cream to soft peaks and add a heaping spoonful in each of the meringue. Add strawberries and serve.

It is optional to add shaved chocolate on top of the fruit, but since I used a chocolate with high cocoa content I didn't want to over power the taste of the fruit. You can substitute strawberries with other fruits of your choice, just like Nigella's raspberries. And if the fruit is in season, don't even need to bother with the jam. I just found my strawberries too bland and I happen to have jam in the fridge.

Photography by Cyril.

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