Friday, January 31, 2014

Chocolate and Summer Berry Pavlova

Last weekend we had a random, out of the box, stinking hot day. 

This also happened to be the day I had planned to do a tonne of baking for Mr B's lunches. 

As I'm sure you know, having the oven on for the majority of the day was not a pleasant experience. 

And then I was smart enough to do exactly the same thing today and wonder why I was sweating like a marathon runner.....

That is where dishes like this Chocolate and Summer Berry Pavlova are perfect because even though the recipe might look a little on the lengthy side, it's really not that bad and doesn't involve standing over the stove for hours at a time. 

I made the meringues, the cream and the chocolate sauce the night before so all I had to do on the day was slice the strawberries, assemble and dig in! Plus you could easily substitute the chocolate sauce for store brought if you wanted to.  

Chocolate and Summer Berry Pavlova - Serves 6-8
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar  
1 tspn white vinegar
1 tbspn cocoa powder, sifted
600ml thickened cream
1 tbspn icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence
400g strawberries, hulled and sliced
150g blueberries (or any fresh seasonal berries to serve)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbspn cocoa powder
1.5 tspn cornflour
125ml (1/2 cup) water
1 tbspn thickened cream

Pre-heat oven to 120C / 100C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and draw 20cm circles on each then turn the paper ink (or pencil) side down. 

Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, 1 tbspn at a time, until thee sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thick and glossy. Beat in the vinegar. Sift the cocoa over the meringue mixture and use a large metal spoon to gently fold it through, creating a swirled effect. 

Divide the meringue mixture between your circles, using a spatula to spread it out until they are both even.

Bake the meringues for 1 hour and 40 minutes, swapping the trays half way through. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in there with the door closed until they are completely cool. 

To make the chocolate sauce, combine the brown sugar, cocoa and cornflour in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the water and stir until well combined. Continue stirring over low heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cream. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and set aside to cool for at least 2 hours. 

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until thick. Place in the fridge to cool. 

To assemble, place one meringue on a serving plate and spread with half of the cream. Top with 1/2 of the strawberries and drizzle with some of the chocolate sauce. Repeat with the remaining meringue and cream.
Top with strawberries, blueberries and a drizzle of the chocolate sauce. 

Serve with remaining chocolate sauce on the side. 

We all really enjoyed this dessert, the light chocolate meringues with the cream and fresh summer fruit is just a lovely combination, so much so that Mr B actually ate half of this on his own...

in one sitting....

straight off the serving platter whilst the rest of us sat there totally gob smacked. 

I'm not even going to mention the fact that he was still hungry afterwards....


Mrs B xx

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