Pavlovas with Chambord Cream, Raspberries Two Ways and Chocolate Sauce

Plated
Until last summer, when checking out the blog of Amy Thielen, chef, writer, and host of the Food Channel’s Heartland Table, I had not heard of the dessert pavlova. Her recipe was for individual pavlovas with whipped cream and a passion fruit sauce that sounded amazing.

I sort of filed the recipe in my mind as one to maybe make one day. Similar to meringue, but better, pavlova has a somewhat soft, almost marshmallowy inside under the palest of ivory crusts—this discovered shortly afterward when we went to Pete’s parents’ for a party, and guess what his mom made for dessert? Yep, pavlova. One large plate-sized pavlova, the center filled with whipped cream and topped with plump, ripe strawberries. I assumed it would be dry all the way through like meringue, but was so pleasantly surprised to find the exterior crunch give way to a softer, delectable texture. How wonderful!

Last week when planning the menu for a girls’ night dinner party celebrating one of my best friend’s birthdays, I remembered Amy’s recipe and decided to give it a whirl. With passion fruit not exactly being in abundance during a Minnesota winter, I decided to take it in a different direction with vegan whipped cream made from coconut milk that I’ve made many times before, to rave reviews, and incorporate raspberries two ways. And with the way raspberries get along with chocolate, why not make a little chocolate sauce for the final drizzle?

The end result was a swoon-worthy dessert and one I will make again and again. With the different components involved, it may seem too putzy, but the Chambord cream and sauces are quick and easy and can be made ahead of time, with all but the pavlovas able to be made a day or two before. Valentine’s day is only a month away–this would be the perfect dessert to share with someone you love!

MixedBefore bakingBakedPavlova plated

Pavlovas with Chambord Cream, Raspberries Two Ways and Chocolate Sauce

Pavlovas by Nicky Major, as posted on Amy Thielen’s blog

For the Pavlovas:
Scant 3/4 cup egg whites (from 5-6 large eggs), totally yolk-free

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

A pinch of salt

1 2/3 cups superfine sugar*

5 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot, more for the baking sheet

2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chambord Cream (recipe follows)
Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)
Chocolate Sauce (recipe follows)
Fresh raspberries

*If you don’t have superfine sugar, just pulse sugar in a food processor for a minute, and measure it afterward.

Position the oven rack just below the middle of the oven, and preheat to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment, sticking down the corners with dabs of honey. Dust the sheet with cornstarch or arrowroot to help the meringue come off easily after baking.

Run a large, stainless-steel mixing bowl under hot water to warm it. Dry the inside thoroughly, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.

Whip the whites at medium-high speed until they’re stiff and start to pull away from the sides of the bowl; they’ll look like they’re about to separate. Immediately start adding the superfine sugar by sprinkling it in slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time; incorporating the whole 1 2/3 cups should take about 10 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with the last 2 tablespoons sugar and add them together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, continue whipping, and slowly add the vinegar and vanilla. Whip for another few minutes. The mixtures should be extremely glossy and fluffy.

For individual pavlovas, use a 3-oz. ice-cream scoop and stack two scoops, snowman-style, for each one. Make a depression in the center.

To bake, put the pavlovas in the heated oven and immediately turn down the heat to 250 degrees F. Bake, without opening the door for at least the first 45 minutes, until they’re crisp and dry looking on the outside with just a hint of ivory color.

To serve, place a big spoonful of the Chambord Cream into the divot in the center of each pavlova, drizzle with Raspberry Sauce, Chocolate Sauce, and top with fresh raspberries.

Chambord Cream
Solids from one can of coconut milk (not light), (chill can overnight; don’t shake can before opening)
¼ cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Chambord

Chill a bowl and beaters in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place coconut solids (solids only–none of the liquid) in bowl and beat until smooth and thick. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and Chambord and beat to incorporate. Refrigerate at least two hours. Give it a whisk just before serving. You may want to add another teaspoon of Chambord at that time. This keeps in the fridge for several days.

Simple Raspberry Sauce
2 cups fresh raspberries, rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup organic sugar

Place raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or strainer, over a dish. Push sauce with back of a spoon until nothing remains in strainer but the seeds. Sauce keeps several days in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Sauce
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Guittard)
1 ½ tablespoons coffee liqueur
1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Place all sauce ingredients in a double boiler and stir until the chocolate chips are melted. Whisk until smooth. Alternately, you can melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and whisk the remaining ingredients into the melted chocolate. If not serving right away, you’ll need to reheat it over low heat because it thickens up as it cools.

 

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2 thoughts on “Pavlovas with Chambord Cream, Raspberries Two Ways and Chocolate Sauce

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