So it has been about 3 months since I've last posted an entry which is just way too long. Moving out to BC in the Okanagan Valley for the summer has delayed entries as well. But now that I have the kitchen set up and my little herb garden planted I should be good to go. Since I am in the Okanagan Valley where there are orchids and vineyards galore I thought it would be appropriate to begin the summer with a dessert where fresh fruit is required. Pavlova with mixed berries seemed like an excellent choice.
Now apparently the pavlova was created in the 1920's when the Russian Ballet Dancer Anna Pavlova was on her Australia/New Zealand tour. The dessert was made especially for her and then named after her. I am not exactly sure if it was the Kiwis or Aussies that invented it. It's safer if I don't guess either as I wouldn't want to upset any of my friends down under.
This is a beautiful and simple dessert to end any summer meal. It's light and crispy on the outside and melts in your mouth once you bite into it. Bring this to your next get together and your friends will love you for it.
Chocolate Pavlova with Mixed Berries
- 4 egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of superfine baker's sugar
- 2 tbsp of unsweetened coco powder
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 2 cups of mixed fresh berries
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer beat egg whites in a glass bowl until frothy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form.
- Whisk sugar and coco powder together and gradually add sugar mixture into the egg whites, about 1 tbsp at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Dollop the meringue, a generous cupful (about six 4-inch circles) onto the parchment paper at 2 inches apart. Gently press an indent into the center of each with the back of a spoon, but don't spread or work the meringue too much. If you'd like you can also create one big meringue (about 9 inches in diameter) and again create an indent in the center (about 5 inches). Bake the pavlovas for 75-90 minutes , until they are dry on the outside. You can test if they are done by lifting them off the parchment paper, if it lifts away easily, it is done.
- When they are done, turn off the oven and let the pavlova sit in the oven for 20 minutes. Before serving, let the pavlova cool to room temperature. You can store the pavlova in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Of course it is best served no more than a day ahead of serving.
- Beat whipping cream, vanilla and sugar on medium speed until soft peaks form. For chocolate whip cream add 1 1/2 tbsp of coco powder and 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar.
- For the berries mix together the berries with the sugar and lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Dollop the whip cream onto the pavlova and top with berries.