Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova - a toast to summer 2012!

I have been a BAD BLOGGER.  YUP, it's not that I haven't been cooking or baking or creating or even obsessing over what "my next post" will be - I've honestly just let "life" get in the way.  September - practically came...and went.  I'm another year older (eeek, that's enough stress on it's own!), the weather has started to turn... and it seems like when I get a chance to sit down in front of the computer and type, something else always seems to pop up!  WELL... that's it, I'm putting my foot down, now here I sit, computer on lap, Duke Dog curled up next to me...  My mind drifting and  I'm reflecting back on the summer... wondering.. WTF where did it go!?!?! It seems like ages ago I was rambling on about Blueberries (yup, freezer is still full of em'!) and the HOT HOT HOT weather.  Now, we're starting to prepare for the cold months ahead, and instead of patio BBQ's - long summer nights - we're eating inside, round' the dining room table, being all "grown up and stuff". ha ha  Here's my "official" disclaimer for this post: I LOVE Pavlova.  YES, not too long ago I posted a Blueberry-Lemon Pavlova... BUT I just HAD to make another one, of course switiching it up... making it "less summery" more decadent. nuff' said.  Once you try this version... you'll understand why...  This is what I came up with, and I think I fell in LOVE with PAVLOVA all over again...  Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova.

I won't dilly-dally around the recipe and details... in fact.. I'll make it short and sweet - oh-sooooo-sweet - mmm chocolate... The addition of unsweeted cocoa powder, and a handful of high quality dark belgium chocolate chunks takes the melt-in-your-mouth meringue crust to an entirely new level of awesomeness...  Real whipped cream sweetened lightly, fresh strawberries sliced and piled into the center and of course the addition of more dark chocolate chunks round out this decadent - but somehow light tasting - dessert.  YUP.  L-O-V-E.
Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

  • 4 Egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chopped dark beligium chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups real whipping cream, slightly sweetened
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 275F
- Follow directions for making the meringue found here up until you've got the meringue with stiff, glossy peaks

- Sift the cocoa powder onto the meringue

- Sprinkle in half (1/2 cup approx) of the dark chocolate chunks, and carefully fold them into the meringue.

- On a parchment lined baking sheet, spoon out a circle of meringue, and carefully form a birdsnest shape

- Bake at 275F for 1 1/4 hours, or until meringue has a golden colour, and is not sticky to touch
- Let cool in oven, with the door slightly open
- Once cooled, carefully remove from baking sheet and place on a serving plate

- Carefully spoon whipped cream into center

- Add Strawberries, and sprinkle remaining chocolate chunks on top! 

YUP - pretty sure I could make this dessert over and over... variation upon variation, and STILL it'd come out as one of my fav's. .... ENJOY!!!

SO, as we move on from Summer 2012... I'd like to propose a toast....

Here's to the great times spent with friends new and old.  Here's to the awesome memories made ... and Here's to what lies ahead in the autumn months!  Now BRING ON FALL!! *CHEERS*