Late last year, just before the calendar changed to 2017 I started thinking about my goals for the new year. I thought of the projects I wanted to start, the photos I wanted to take, the countries I wanted to visit. Just when everything was starting to look like I’d found a nice set of attainable goals I decided, on a whim, to bake something new every week for the year.
I enjoy baking, the process of taking simple ingredients and mixing them in a precise way to yield something totally delicious. The process of making your own food, of putting your energy into what you eat is very relaxing and exciting and I’ve been enjoying the project thus far. As I’ve been sharing the images on Facebook and Instagram, I’ve started to get messages and comments asking for the recipes of everything I’m making. For the most part, I try to gain inspiration from cookbooks, blogs and pinterest and then adapt the recipes to suit my own ideas. After planning for a while, I decided I’d do my best to write the recipes here, on my blog, for you to use and adapt! So, starting with my most current baking project, I present to you Chocolate Pavlova!
In case you’ve never had a pavlova before, it’s essentially a giant meringue cake often served with whipped cream and lots of fruit. It was created in honour of russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1920’s. I remember my mom would make them for family dinners and she was always so careful to not let it cave in before it was served.
As I’m staying with a friend who is gluten free, a pavlova is a great choice for a dessert suits a gluten-free diet but also feels like a rich and delicate dessert. I also happen to be with a friend who is a tad chocolate obsessed so pairing chocolate with gluten-free was an absolute must!
The recipe is easy to follow and really only takes a few standard ingredients! I’ve adapted mine from Nigella Lawson.
- 6 egg whites
- 1½ cups superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate – finely chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 pint berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
- 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Beat the egg whites until shining peaks and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is thick and shining. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Then fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Pour the mixture onto the pan into a large mound, smooth over the top. Place in the oven, then turn the temperature down to 300ºF and cook for 85 minutes. When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top. Turn off the oven and open the door a bit, and let the chocolate meringue cool completely.
- Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pour it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries. Grate the chocolate over top everything and serve!