New Year is just around the corner and what’s a better way to celebrate than with a popular dessert for this festive season?
This recipe celebrates all things we love about desserts – chocolate, coffee, eggs and berries. I can guarantee you that your guests will leave your dinner table wishing that they could have another slice of this Mini Chocolate Pavlova.
The Pavlova was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Although there is forever a debate about the origin of this dish, whether it's from Australia or New Zealand, this delicious dessert is now loved and enjoyed all over the world. In Aussie slang we like to call it 'Pav'.
A traditional Pavlova is a dessert based on baked meringue with fruit and cream. Now there are so many different versions of it depending on flavours, sizes, techniques and fruits used.
Let the indulgence begin.
• Egg whites from 3 large eggs (100g)
• 180g caster sugar
• 1½tbsp cocoa powder
• 1tsp white vinegar
• ½tsp vanilla essence
Whipped espresso cream
• 200ml double cream
• 2tbsp icing sugar
• 1tbsp instant espresso powder
• 1 tbsp milk
• 250g raspberries
• 2tbsp caster sugar
• 8 strawberries, thinly sliced
• 24 blackberries (if large, use 12 pieces and cut in half)
• A handful of mint leaves
• A handful purple Shiso leaves (optional)
• 50g dark chocolate (bar)
• 20g grated pistachio
• A handful of edible flowers (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees for fan-forced oven.
2. For chocolate meringue, beat the egg whites for about five minutes, with stand mixture fitted with a whisk attachment or hand beater till it forms soft peaks.
3. Gradually add sugar to soft meringue (ideally one tablespoon at a time) while running the stand mixture at low speed. Add vinegar and vanilla essence, and turn the mixture to high speed. Beat till it turns shiny and glossy and forms stiff peaks. Make sure you don't over whip the meringue or it will not crisp up.
4. Now gently fold the cocoa powder in the meringue with a spatula without overworking it so that it retains the air. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag.
5. Put very small dots of meringue on a baking tray and then cover it with baking paper. This will ensure that baking paper doesn't move around when you are working with meringue.
6. Then on top of the tray covered with baking paper, make small domes of meringue (as shown in the picture). Make sure you keep enough space between domes so that they don’t touch each other. Use another tray if required. Depending upon the size of the egg you will get 10 to 12 domes.
7. Place the baking tray in the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature to 100 degrees for fan-forced oven. Bake for about 60 minutes (time may vary for different types and sizes of ovens).
8. After that turn off the oven and leave the meringue domes in the oven to cool down with the oven door slightly open. Leave it there till it has completely cooled down. It will show cracks but not fall apart or break down.
9. Meanwhile for the whipped cream, in a small cup mix milk and instant espresso coffee powder well and make sure there are no lumps. Place cream, coffee mixture and icing sugar into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip cream until soft peaks form. You can also use other equipment to whip cream. Transfer in a piping bag and keep it inside a fridge.
10. For the raspberry puree, using a stick blender, make puree out of the raspberries. Add caster sugar and mix well. Strain the puree with a fine sieve and discard what’s left on the sieve. Store it in a fridge for serving.
11. For assembly, make a hole in the middle of each meringue dome and pipe in sufficient espresso cream. Then decorate the top with three to four thinly sliced strawberries, two blackberries, a couple of mint leaves and Shisho leaves (as shown in the picture). In a small dessert plate, spread the raspberry puree with a brush or a tablespoon. Gently transfer the decorated mini Pavlova on the plate with icing spatula. Shave some dark chocolate and sprinkle grated pistachios on top of the Pavlova and raspberry puree before serving.