Ghiradelli Chocolate Pavlova

 

I want to dive into this picture and eat the whole thing!

We love pavlova in our house. Usually just a plain pavlova with some sort of fruit and whipped cream on top. But for Sunday dinner our guests included someone from Australia and someone from New Zealand. What better than a Pavlova smack down!? All the stops needed to be pulled for this battle!

 

Thanks to Foodbuzz Tastemakers and Ghiradelli Chocolates sending me a box full of wonderful dark chocolates to try, I decided to experiment with Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova. 

But, wait, we have a problem – the boy doesn’t like chocolate. HMMMMMM… the solution? Mix up the pavlova as I usually do, split the lovely, glossy meringue mixture in half, add half the cocoa powder and chopped dark chocolate that Nigella calls for in her wonderful Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe and then make individual pavlovas.

With this recipe I made 8 WAY TOO BIG pavlovas – 4 plain and 4 chocolate. I could have easily made 8 of each and made them like little nests, but – well, go big or go home!

I used the same Nigella recipe that I used for my Darling’s birthday cake, just making a few adjustments.

  • 8 large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 500 g (17.5 oz) superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

For the topping:

  • 500 mL (2 cups) whipping or double cream
  • Raspberries
  • Sliced kiwi
  • Raspberry sauce

To make half the meringue chocolate:

  • 1 1/2 T cocoa powder
  • 25 g chopped dark chocolate

NOTE: The eggs should be at room temperature. This step makes all the difference in the world. Leave them out for a few hours before separating the eggs. Use the egg yolks for a creme brulee or a pudding. 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Because I was making these smaller, I did them free form on the parchment.

Beat the egg whites and salt with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or an electric beater until thick soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar, a scattered spoonful or two at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cornstarch and vinegar, and gently fold into the meringue.

This is where I made the split.

For the half that I was making chocolate, I sprinkled the cocoa and chopped chocolate over the top and gently folded. 

Make small (and far smaller than mine) mounds or meringue and using a spatula, shape them and make a small dent in the center of each pavlova to hold the whipped cream and fruit.

Place in the preheated oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 300°. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, during which time the meringue will puff up. Turn off the heat, open the door and leave to cool sitting in the oven — it should be left to cool in the oven until shortly before serving, or alternately it can be cooked ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for a week or so.

I whipped the heavy cream until light and fluffy and added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few teaspoons of sugar.

Onto the table were a pile of Pavlovas, a plate of freshly sliced fruit, a pitcher of raspberry syrup and a bowl of whipped cream. It was make your own Pavlova day!

You may be wondering about the smack down results. The only smacking were the smacking of lips and ooohs and aaaahs!

 Thanks you Ghiradelli and Foodbuzz Tasemaker for this tasty opportunity!

There’s still time to stop by my wonderful Giveaway ~ $100 American Express gift card! So simple – follow this link and leave a comment! Winner will be picked September 29th!

Sargento Cheese Comparison

Sometimes you just gotta love blogging!

FoodBuzz Tastemakers and Sargento Cheese asked me to compare Sargento cheese to any processed cheese.

First, contrary to popular belief, processed cheese is real cheese. It just has emulsifiers added to it so that it melts more uniformly. Also, the additives allow this cheese product to have a LONG, long, long shelf life!

And another bit of misinformation, although Kraft was the first American company to introduce processed cheese it is actually a Swiss invention!

Because of the additives and emulsifiers, tis cannot be sold as cheese but only as a cheese product.

Now, on the other hand, Sargento is all natural cheese. No emulsifiers, no additives.

The 2 cheese in that photo are both cheddar. The one on the left is a cheese product. The one on the right Sargento.  Sargento’s cheese saps when you bend it, te processed not so much. The color is more vibrant ont he Sargento. THe taste has a wonderful sharpness and dry quality.

We had this taste comparison over the weekend – some crackers, grapes, dried cherries, caramelized onions. And trying each with a bit of each topping, even with eyes closed – well, there is no comparison –

Sargento is a superior cheese. Great taste. Great value. Perfect for all our cheese needs!