Monday, 5 December 2011

Chocolate Pavolova for the Pavolova Blog Hop

I'm very excited, not only have I found new food bloggers, I've joined Twitter! If you would like to follow me my twitter name is MMOAGFL, I already have followers in the first few hours of joining! It feels like when I first started to blog and people began to read my blog. Speaking of that a very warm welcome to my national and international readers from; USA,Cananda, Singapore, Russia, France, Japan, Germany,UK and Colombia!, and that's just from this month!

 I've also participated in my very first blog hop! It's a food one, sharing the best pavolova recipes! It's hosted by the amazing food blogger at Delicieux, if you wish to join, clink on the above link to get inspiration for the numerous variations of pavolovas and even make your own! For people who are unsure what it is it is a meringue based dessert with cream and fruit, it has come somewhat of a national icon and even features in one of the most famous children's books Possum Magic!(a famous childrens novel by the talented Mem Fox, a childhood favourite!).Recently there has been some debate if the dish is national to Australia or New Zealand, personally I don't care, it's a national dish now, that most people love, let both countries claim it if they like.

I had so much fun creating my own unique pavolova, I looked at others for inspiration, I even looked up my mums old 1970s cookbook, to see how they used to get them such a perfect! You see this is the first pavolova I've made from scratch, I've used the pre made bases and decorated with cream, fruit and chocolate but this was the first I made from scratch.

I got out my grandmothers Kenwood mixer, an inherited beloved and much used item! It would have to be 60 years old!, everything is so heaving,it's ceramic, not like the plastic designs of today! Sadly my grandmother passed away nearly 5 years ago from cancer, she loved to bake and using her mixer made me feel like she was with me, guiding me and making sure this pavolova would turn out ok! I even began to think like my grandmother and got out the eggs a few hours before to ensure they were at room temperature. Gran was a great cook and nothing seemed to stress her while baking, so when I only had 1 cup of caster sugar, something told me that wasn't quite enough, so I got out the icing sugar, I wanted the soft sweet texture, not grainy texture of normal sugar. I was right, the icing sugar made it perfect!

I wanted to try something a little different, I had lots of inspirations from other bloggers and recipes and I decided on a chocolate pavolova! But the chocolate wouldn't stop there it continued in the cream, which I added Balieys too as well as the dark chocolate! I thought the process through well and even chatted to my bestie, a non pavolova loving gal, even she was inticed by the chocolate and the non traditional nature of my pav! I think it was the chocolate!

The first bite of the pavlova was pure heaven, I got it perfect! It was crunchy on the outside but had that soft chewy like texture in the middle, combined with an expolsion of baileys and chocolate cream and a mouthful of berries! I knew with that first bite that gran had been guiding me and she helped me to make the dish taste and turn out delicious as it did. It made all the piping of messy chocolate meringue, to get a nice shape pav, but messy hands well worth it.

Theres something almost magical, tracending about baking, it moves you to another place, where all your focused on is the subject at hand! Its quite stress relieving, whilst also giving you a feeling of importance and apprehension at the same time. Apprehension about if it will be a success or a gf mishap an experience to learn from or will you glow with pride and self importance as you plate up and serve your dish to your loved ones!

Before I share my lovely recipe with you I would like to thank my new food bogging friends as I embark on my first blog hop, or should I say pavolova blog hop! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and my family too. I've read various people say that they only use egg whites snd sugar to create the pav, no cornflower, vinegar or salt, so if the second tine you cook this you want to try it like that please let me know if it turns out and what it tastes like! Without further ado here is my chocolate and berry pavolova with baileys and chocolate cream recipe;

GF Chocolate and Berry Pavolova with Bailieys and Chocolate Cream

4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup sifted cocoa
1 teaspoon gf cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
pinch salt
300ml thickened cream
1/4 cup Baileys
8 pieces melted dark chocolate

Separate the eggs individually, whisk on high, adding eggs one at a time. Whisk until soft peaks form. Add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, to ensure it is mixed through, add the icing sugar in the same manner until shiny, glossy peaks form. Add sifted cocoa, cornflour, vinegar and saltm fold into meringue mixture.
Draw a 23cm circle on baking paper. Using a spoon and knife, spread dollops of mixture around the entire circle. Pipe remaning mixture around the entire circle, in two layers (see picture if unsure). Add a bit more mixture to the centre. Cook on 140 degrees celicus for 40 minutes or until firm (I turned the oven off and left the door open a bit and let it cook a little bit more for 5 minutes).
Cool the merinuge, it should look like this:

For the cream, whisk a small carton 300ml of thickened cream with 1/4 of a cup of Bailieys or to your liking. Whisk until peaks form. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave, for 30 seconds at a time, mix, careful not to burn the chocolate. Fold melted chocolated through the cream. Add the cream to the centre of the merinuge, making the pavolva! Decorate with berries, I strategically placed, blueberries, cherries and strawberries on my pavolova!
Note: I couldn't resist but this was a little rich immediately after adding the cream, but the next day, when the flavours had blended through tasted much nicer. So something I would recommend making the day before you need it.