FOR THE SPONGE:
175 g chocolate covered honeycomb
50 g almond meal
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon corn flour
50 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), very finely chopped
1 teaspoon white vinegar
9 free-range eggs
400 g caster sugar
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
600 g frozen pitted cherries
Juice 1 lime
650 g mascarpone
1/3 cup cream
1 cup flaked almonds ~ toasted until golden in a frying pan
1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
3 large handfuls fresh black cherries, pitted
Extra icing sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat oven to 200ËšC
- Grease and line 3 flat baking trays.
- Using a 20cm bowl as a stencil, draw a circle on each piece of paper to act as a template for the meringue mixture. Set aside.
- Sift almond meal, cocoa, almond meal, cream of tartar and cornflower into a small mixing bowl, add the finely chopped chocolate.
- In a food processor whizz up all the honeycomb until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add half the honeycomb to the dry ingredients/chocolate in the bowl and set the remainder aside for later. Stir all dry ingredients together thoroughly.
- Wipe the bowl of a stand mixer or large metal mixing bowl (if you are using hand-held beaters) with a little white vinegar or lemon juice to remove any traces of grease. Do the same with the whisk.
- Add the 9 egg whites and beat on medium speed until opaque and frothy.
- Using a large spoon add the caster sugar in separate additions beating the meringue mixture after each spoonful. Continue until all the sugar is used up and the mixture is thick, holds stiff peaks and is glossy. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue moving.
- Add the vinegar and beat for a second or two extra then remove the bowl from the stand mixer and sprinkle in the dry ingredients, fold into the meringue using a large spoon in about 7 or 8 rotations. It doesnâ€™t need to be totally combined.
- Spoon the meringue out evenly onto the 3 lined trays and from evenly sized round discs. Use a small angled spatula to smooth out the edges if you like.
- Bake in the oven at 200ËšC for exactly 5 minutes before turning the heat down to 150ËšC. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes before turning off the oven completely and allowing the pavlovas to cool completely in the oven.
- While pavlovas are cooling, place frozen cherries in a medium-sized saucepan along with lime juice simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Spoon cherries into a bowl then return the cherry juice to the heat and cook until reduced by over half. Allow to cool and pour into a small serving jug
- Combine mascarpone, cream and icing sugar in a bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
- To assemble the pavlova, place the first meringue disc on a flat surface top with 1/3 cream, cooked cherry compote and fresh cherries and a sprinkling of crushed honeycomb and toasted flaked almonds. Repeat with the second and third meringue disc and all the ingredients then very carefully stack on top of each other. Drizzle top of assembled pavlova with the reduced cherry juice when ready to serve and dust with a sprinkle of icing sugar.
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This post was written by the CNK team