Whoopee, we are still in second place after bowling today (Wednesday) and now only points behind the lead team. Two of our team are hoping to get to 1st place, the other two don't care that much. Matt is more concerned with whether he beats me or everyone which he did do on one game at least today.
I received a Pinterest email today (why I don't know, don't use it) all about Pavlovas some of them really look good I must say. Obviously I couldn't resist a chocolate Pavlova.
Layered Chocolate Hazelnut Pavlova
6 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of slat
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbs cocoa powder
100 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate
200 ml whipping cream
pinch of salt
WHIPPED HAZELNUT CREAM
1/2 liter whipping cream, chilled
3 Tbs hazelnut paste (can easily be made at home by mixing hazelnuts in a food processor until you get a smooth paste)
50 g hazelnuts, chopped
crispy chocolate balls or any other decoration
1. Chocolate meringue:
2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Draw two 18 cm circles on a baking paper and place it on a baking tray.
3. Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Then add icing sugar a tablespoon at a time. At the end add the lemon juice or vinegar and cornstarch. Beat gently until thick and glossy.
4. Add cocoa powder and fold it in gently, keeping some streaks of dark brown.
5. Spread the meringue evenly into the two circles.
6. Move into the oven and reduce the temperature to 120°C. Bake for about 90 minutes. It should look crisp on top and feel dry, but when you press it you should feel soft in the centre.
7. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave in the oven to cool overnight.
8. Chocolate Ganache: Heat the whipping cream over medium heat until it starts forming small bubbles on the side, but doesn't boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate and a pinch of salt. Whisk until you get a smooth cream. Let cool at room temperature, then keep in the fridge before assembling the cake.
9. Whipped Hazelnut Cream: Whip the cream until it's almost stif, but not buttery, then add the hazelnut paste and gently whip just a little more.
10. Assembly: Place one meringue on a cake stand, gently add half of the ganache on top, add half of the whiped hazelnut cream and half of the chopped hazelnuts.
11. Continue with another layer of meringue, ganache (save a couple of tablespoons for decoration), whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts.
12. Place whole hazelnuts, crispy chocolate balls and drizzle with the rest of the ganache.
13. Refrigerate before serving.
Yield: Yields about 8 pieces of 18 cm cake
Source: Use Your Noodles
Some instructions for the perfect meringue:
Make sure your equipment is dry before making the meringue. Moisture stops egg white from aerating.
Make pavlova on a dry day. Moisture makes pavlova sticky.
Adding lemon juice and cornstarch will help pavlova keep its form.
Add sugar gradually to the egg whites and be sure to beat the egg whites to the stiff point, but don't over beat them, just until the sugar has dissolved. Test if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers. You shouldn't feel any grains. When you transfer it to the baking paper the mixture should hold its shape.
After baking keep in in the oven with doors ajar until it completely cools down to room temperature.
It's better to over dry than under dry your meringue. If you are not sure if it is done, better dry it a little more. Soggy meringue is unusable, but a little bit too dry is not such a problem. Assemble the cake and after a day in the fridge it will become crunchy.
Have a great day