Monday, March 30, 2009

Chocolate Berry Pavlova

There is a dessert called Pavlova that I have wanted to make. It is named after a Russian ballerina named Anna Pavlova. It is made of a meringue base that is crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside.

Whenever I've seen Pavlovas, they've been crazy tall, and now I understand why. The meringue kind of settles, and the flavor is so light, it will get lost in the cream or whatever you decide to fill it with. My Pavlova base was too short. Next time I will double the recipe and make it nice and tall.

If you decide to try making this, I recommend putting the meringue on a Silpat so that you can easily remove it and put it on a serving plate. For the Pavlova I used the egg whites that I had leftover from making the Hollandaise sauce for the Eggs Benedict. I whipped the egg whites together with some sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. I whipped it to high peaks, and then I spread it in a circle, lifting the edges higher than the center. I put it in the oven at 250 deg F for an hour and then I turned the over off and opened the oven door to let the meringue "dry out".

I filled it with whipped cream (heavy whipping cream whipped tight with powdered sugar and vanilla extract), and then I topped it with raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. With just that, it was pretty as a picture, but I wanted to go over the top a bit. I made a syrup with Amarena cherry juice, marashino cherry juice, and a little bit of strawberry syrup. I dusted on a little bit of grated dark chocolate before I took some pictures. I had a lot of chocolate shavings left, so I dumped it all on and took more pictures. The extra chocolate made a difference in taste, and it was very good. Puddleglum and the boys all liked it a lot, but what's not to like- fresh berries, whipped cream, good chocolate, cherry sauce, and creamy meringue? It's an instant winner. I think it would have been better if I had made more meringue. Visually, I think the presentation would be even better if I made the filling and the meringue different colors so that you can see both layers. So next time I am going to double the meringue recipe and put some color in either the meringue or the cream.

No comments: