02 May 2010
Chocolate Pavlova... because everything is better with chocolate...
Sometimes I annoy myself. There are words on menus that draw me in, like honey to a bee, a moth to a flame - a fatty to an "All you can eat Buffet"... you get the picture.
For me it's:
Scallops. Pork Belly. Chocolate.
Although it’s hard to explain – when I go out to Restaurants and I’m reading the menu – I feel a bit like the Terminator with the weird goggles. Those words just jump out at me and I’m hypnotised. It really doesn’t matter how much more appealing the other things might be – once I see those three magic words – I start to drool like Pavlov’s dog and it’s all over.
Likewise when I try a new ecipe, my immediate thought is “I wonder if it would be better in chocolate”. I know people do similar things with clothes and shoes… “I wonder if it would look better in black / red / snakeskin?” But for me – it’s all about the chocolate.
So when I tried making Pavlova for the first time not long ago – and I was moderately impressed with my efforts – I was already itching to try a Chocolate version. I also had grand plans of trying to make spun sugar to sit on top of it – but after everyone told me to make sure that I lock the cats in the bedroom and cover every surface with newspaper before trying… I somehow lost my enthusiasm!
But the Chocolate Pavlova was amazing – the Cocoa and Balsamic Vinegar made the marshmallow middle taste almost like a very light Chocolate Mousse and the Grated Chocolate sunk to the bottom giving the base a brownie-like quality. It was delicious, just as easy as a regular Pav but so much more memorable…
So here it is…
Chocolate Pavlova Recipe
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sieved
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
100g dark chocolate, grated
600ml Whipped Cream
Torn Mint Leaves
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper / greaseproof paper.
Beat the egg whites until the peaks have a satiny sheen, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff.
Sprinkle the sieved cocoa over the meringue mix and then add the vinegar and grated chocolate.
Gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in with no lumps.
Scoop on to the lined baking sheet – the higher the Pav, the more marshmallowy middle – the wider the Pav the more crispy edges.
Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C and cook for about 75 mins.
Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue cool completely before dressing it with cream and fruit.
To serve: Whisk the cream till thick and pile on top of the Pavlova, scatter with the fresh berries and torn mint and then dust with icing sugar. To give it an adult edge – you could even soak the berries in Cointreau for 20mins before arranging.