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broken hearted chocolate pavlova

Hi every-one, I hope you all had great weekends. I did quite a bit of trip planning and when I wasn't chained to the computer, I was in the kitchen baking up a storm. One of the things I made was a chocolate pavlova for Valentine's Day. I've made this chocolate pavlova many times but until recently I'd never tasted it. It disappears so quickly, all I ever got to try were the crumbs. When I did taste it, I found the pavlova so sweet it was almost sickly. The pavlova also cracks like crazy and spreads far more than a regular pavlova. I think that might be due to the cocoa powder but I'm not really sure.

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I've been working on trying to stop the pavlova from spreading so much so added some cornflour to the mixture. To reduce the sweetness I decided to leave out the grated chocolate 'cos sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

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To rein the pavlova in, I decided to bake it in a spring form tin instead of free form on a baking sheet. Well, look what happened.

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The pavlova rose like crazy and then sank while cooling leaving this great crevasse. I went to bed mulling over what to do. Should I scrap it and start all over again or should I just embrace my failure and move on?


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Well I'm made of sterner stuff than that, so I decided to create a shell from the pavlova and filled the centre with a cloud of gently whipped cream. I topped the cream with the chocolate hearts and raspberries that were my topping of choice for Valentine's Day accompanied by some of the chocolate meringue shards.

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And so a new dessert was born. Here's my recipe for Chocolate Pavlova and it serves 8 - 10. If you want to make a broken hearted version, just bake it in a 23 cm springform tin lined with baking paper and crack open the top! P.S I had a little taste of it today and it tastes pretty good.

Ingredients
6 x 60 g egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1½ cups caster sugar
2 20 ml tablespoons dutch process cocoa, sifted
1 20 ml tablespoon cornflour, sifted
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

To serve
500 ml cream
Seasonal berries
Chocolate curls/hearts

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (conventional oven). Draw a 22cm circle on baking paper and place on an oven tray.

2. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add caster sugar a tablespoon at a time until meringue is stiff and shiny.

3. Add the sifted cocoa and cornflour and the vinegar and lightly fold in with a metal spoon or spatula.


4. Spoon the meringue onto baking paper to form a 22cm circle and place in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 135°C/275°F and bake for 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool with the oven door slightly ajar.


5. When completely cold, gently remove the pavlova from the baking paper and place on a flat serving platter. Beat the cream until it forms soft peaks and spread over the pavlova. Top with the berries and chocolate curls, if desired.



We're having a belated Valentine's Day morning tea at work next week so expect some more hearted shaped items to appear on the blog in the next short while.


Happy Valentine's Day for Friday,

See you all again soon,

Jillian
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