After spending a rather lovely Christmas day with my family in London we flew to France to see in the New Year with my in-laws. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to this two week break, 2016 flew by so fast I barely had time to gather my thoughts. With a little extra time to myself I did a little baking, which is always challenging in someone else’s kitchen… but it’s been a good opportunity to try out some new recipes for the blog. The first of which is a rather indulgent chocolate, chestnut and pear pavlova that is easy to make and great to tuck into on a winter’s day.
Chocolate, Chestnut and Pear Pavlova
Serves: 8 -10
Time: 1hr preparation, 1h15 cooking.
- 6 large egg whites
- 280g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder (sieved)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g of 70% dark chocolate (finely chopped)
Preheat your oven to 160°C/ (140°C/ fan assisted) and line your baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Start by whisking your egg whites until soft peaks and then gradually add your sugar a spoonful at a time. Keep on whisking until the meringue is silky/shiny and forms stiff peaks. Fold in your cocoa powder, vinegar, corn flour, vanilla and dark chocolate gently.
You can either make one large circle or split the meringue into two circles so that you have two layers. Either way make your edges slightly higher, this will keep your fillings in the center of the meringue.
Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150°C/ (130°C/ fan assisted) and leave to bake for 1 hour to 1h15. The Meringue should be crisp and dry on top but you’ll want it to be a little soft/chewy on the inside rather than dry and powdery.
- 300ml whipping cream
- 215g chestnut spread
Just before serving whisk the whipping cream until mostly film then whisk in the chestnut spread. If you can only find chestnut puree add 100g icing sugar to sweeten the chantilly.
- 75ml double cream
- 50g dark chocolate (70%)
- 1 Tbsp Icing sugar
- 1 tin of pears
- 50g chopped walnuts.
In a small sauce pan on low heat stir the cream and chocolate until it melts into a silky smooth sauce then put aside till you’re ready to use. Cut the pear into slices or small chunks.
Just before serving peel off the baking paper from your merginue/s and place on your serving plate. Spoon the chestnut cream on to the meringue and the dot the pear over the cream. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top and finish with a sprinkle of walnuts.
* The photo used for this post is from the second time I made this pavlova using half the quantity – it served 4-6.