Did you know that the Pavlova was created by a hotel chef in the 1920s in honor of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova during one of her tours to Australia or New Zealand? It is synonomous with the Australian summer, particularly at Christmas time and of course a favourite dessert at our Australian Day BBQ. This recipe is a Chocolate take on this traditional dessert and has been perfected by our resident tenn, Gracie. Follow these simple recipe for a perfectly soft, marshmallowy centre and crisp outer shell - and of course topped with your favourite pavlova topping!
Ingredients - Pavlova Base
6 large egg whites (use your week-old eggs - they work the best)
1-3/4 cups caster sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of cornflour
60 grams dark chocolate, (finely chopped or grated)
Ingredients - Marscapone Cream
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients - Topping
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, strawberries
1 Flake (crumbled)
Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a dark marker, draw a 9-inch diameter circle on the parchment paper by tracing around a 9-inch cake pan or plate.
Use your electric beater or mixer (Whish attachment), beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until fluffy soft peaks form, (about a minute)
Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form, 8-9 minutes. (The meringue will be glossy and smooth)
Sift the cocoa powder through a sieve and add to the meringue. Add the vinegar and the tbsp of cornflour and chopped chocolate. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the mixture until well combined. It should be a light mocha color with no white or brown streaks.
Mound the meringue onto the parchment inside the circle. Using a spatula, spread the meringue to fill the circle. Do not overwork the mixture.
Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meringue is puffed and lightly browned all over.
Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open slightly ajar after 10 mins, and leave the meringue in the oven to cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. (The meringue won’t collapse as much if it cools gradually)
Before serving, carefully peel the meringue off of the parchment paper and place it on a serving platter. In a bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and vanilla until combined. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until peaks form. Place the mascarpone cream onto the top of the meringue. Top the pavlova with the raspberries and sprinkle the crushed Flake on top.
Handy Tip :Pavlova can be made ahead and placed into an airtight container (I use my Tupperware), then place the cream and toppings on just prior to serving.
Happy Australia Day!