Notsoskinny’s Christmas Recipe Ideas
Christmas is creeping closer now that we are in the month of November. This is obvious, as everywhere on social media gift ideas are popping up and Christmas decorations are going up in stores. It is also that time of the year where we all start thinking of year-end functions and holiday plans. With all of that comes the great gift of sharing meals together. A friend of mine messaged me yesterday requesting a few recipe ideas for dessert. So, being a good friend, I got crafting immediately on this gorgeous cherry and chocolate mousse pavlova.
This cherry and chocolate mousse pavlova is a delicious dessert that looks absolutely gorgeous with all the beautiful red cherries and chocolate-coated baby apples. My favorite part is definitely the meringues that taste like melted, gooey marshmallow on the inside.
The textures all come together beautifully with the creaminess of the chocolate mousse, fresh cream, and the slight stickiness of the meringue. Top that with the slightly tart fruit, chocolate shavings, and dark chocolate blocks and you are in dessert heaven.
Tips for making a perfect pavlova.
- Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk beater are clean with no fatty residues. You can even consider wiping down your equipment with a clean vinegar rag. This is because any fatty residue will prevent the egg white to reach a stiff and glossy texture.
- Make sure that absolutely no egg yellow makes it way into the egg white when separating the eggs. Since even the slightest speck of egg yellow will play havoc on the egg whites setting properly.
- Use a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl. Plastic is not recommended as it may hold traces of an oil residue.
- Do not use a copper bowl either as it is likely to react with the vinegar.
- Try to choose a dry day. Because humidity is not your friend when it comes to whipping up impressive meringues that will set.
- Do not omit the vinegar as it acts as a stabilizer. Add it right at the end and stop mixing within 30 seconds after doing so.
Can I make this pavlova in advance?
I made the meringue bases the previous evening and left them in the oven after baking to slowly cool down overnight.
It is however recommended that you put the cake together just before serving to ensure your meringue bases do not become soggy.
Cherry and chocolate mousse pavlova
- Standing mixer with a whisk attachment
- Mixing bowls
- 6 Egg whites
- 1½ cups icing sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 large tub Woolworths chocolate mousse
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 500 g Morello cherries in syrup
- 425 g canned baby apples drained
- Preheat the oven to 120°C
- Cut three 18cm circles from the baking paper and place them on a large baking sheet.
- Add the eggs and salt to a standing mixer with a whisk attachment. Switch on the mixer to medium speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time.
- Beat the sugar and the egg white until stiff peaks form and the mixture becomes glossy. When the whisk attachment is lifted from the mixture, the mixture must be so stiff that it remains upright.
- Gently mix the cocoa powder into the meringue mixture, forming a marble pattern. Do not over mix!
- Spread the mixture evenly on the circles.
- Place the circles in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 90°C.
- Let the meringues dry for 90 minutes and then switch off the oven, leaving the oven door open slightly to cool down overnight.
When ready to serve, assemble the cake as follows:
- Melt 50g of the dark chocolate in a microwave for a few seconds and dip the drained baby apples in it. Place the apples aside on a piece of parchment paper until the chocolate has set.
- Drain the cherries’ syrup in a small saucepan and reduce to half over medium heat. Place aside to cool down.
- Beat the fresh cream until soft peaks form.
- Place a meringue on a cake plate and spread half of the cream over it.
- Add a ⅓ of the Morello cherries on top of the cream.
- Now place the second layer of meringue on top of the cherries.
- Spread a thick layer of the chocolate mousse over the second layer of meringue.
- Now add another ⅓ of the morello cherries.
- Place the final meringue on top of the cherries and mousse.
- Spread the other half of the cream on top of the third meringue
- Decorate with the final ⅓ of morello cherries, fresh cherries and baby apples.
- Grate some chocolate over the cake and add the last blocks of chocolate to the cake between the fruit.
- Serve immediately with the cherry syrup on the side in a small jug.
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