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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vanilla Pavlova with Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries

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I had never made a Pavlova before.  In fact, until a year or so ago, I hadn't ever heard of one either.  I vaguely remember reading something about it and the story behind it's name a long time ago and having been curious about what it was.

Then, the Daring Bakers made Pavlova's not too long ago and I was lucky enough to get one of these lovely little chocolate ones from my friend, Barbara.  It was terrifically yummy and I really wanted to try it.  Well, at the beginning of August, I finally got around to it.

We were having dinner with Natalie at Aussie Mum in the Kitchen, and her family, who we have been friends with for years recently and I really wanted to make something special for Nats for dessert.  I decided to do a search for 'Australian desserts' and the Pavlova kept popping up all over the place.  I'm not sure why, but we all loved it and Nats had said that she hadn't had one in years.

We actually all agreed that we really loved it as thin and kind of chewy, crackly crunchy as it was. We also loved the chocolate mousse and strawberries on top.  My original intention was for the Pavlova to be supremely light and high rising, but it kind of flattened and deflated and cracked on me.  Bottom line: it really didn't seem to matter.  So, while it didn't turn out as impressive looking as I thought it might, I don't think I would change a thing.  In fact, I really can't wait to make this again!

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Vanilla Pavlova
Adapted from Donna Hay


4 large egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

Add the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 8-inch round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 250°F and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.

* You’ll know when the meringue is stiff and glossy because the mixture will have tripled in volume and stands up when the beaters are lifted.
* The low heat puffs up the meringue while the long cooking time dries it out to give you a lovely crisp shell.
* Store your pavlova, undressed, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.



Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from Helen (Tartelette)


4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons (25gr) butter

3/4 cup heavy cream, cold

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowlset over a pan of simmering water (make sure that the bowl fits snuggly over the pan and does not touch the water).

Melt together the chocolate, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, and the butter till just melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a mixer, whip the 3/4 cup cold heavy cream to medium peaks and fold it into the chocolate mixture.  Cover the mixture tightly with plastic wrap until ready to serve.  Pipe or spoon the mousse onto the top of the pavlova just before serving.


Strawberry Topping
From PheMom

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.  Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator, till the pavlova is ready to be assembled and served.

TO ASSEMBLE THE PAVLOVA:

Place the pavlova on a large serving platter or cake plate.  Spoon or pipe the chocolate mousse on top of the pavlova then top with the sliced strawberries.  Top the whole 'cake' with chocolate curls if you want to be fancy.

Serve in wedges and enjoy!

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9 comments:

CarinE said...

Oh my, this looks freakin' damn good!

Barbara Bakes said...

Thanks for the nice shout out. It looks like a fabulous pavloa. Great to have the crispy, chewy crust with the creamy, sweet toppings.

Lucy said...

Ooh I love both pavlova and chocolate mousse but have never tried them together. Genius and delicious!

scrambledhenfruit said...

That is gorgeous, and the chocolate mousse looks divine. Beautiful!

Thibeault's Table said...

Oh My, What is not to like about that recipe. Great looking dessert.

Ann

Brilynn said...

Depending on who you ask, both New Zealand and Australia will lay claim to being the inventors of pavlova... Either way though, yours looks great, love the chocolate mousse with it!

Sarah said...

Made this yesterday for my family! I've always wanted to try Pavlova. It was a huge success, even with the little ones. Thanks, I love your blog!

The Bentley Family and Aussiemuminthekitchen said...

Hey thanks for the mention! I can personally attest to the deliciousness of this dessert. Not only was it gorgeous to look at but it had all the perfect aspects of the best pav I think I've ever tasted. Thanks Holly! You truly are the bestest!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I've always wanted to try pavs out. Yours looks great, even though it didn't rise that much. Thanks for the link to those delish chocolate ones!

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