Black Forest Pavlova With Espresso Cream


Prep time 1 hour, cooking time approximately 2 hours.

Ingredients:

For the meringue:

8 egg whites

2 cups granulated raw sugar

2 tablespoons dutch cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the topping:

2 cups thickened (whipping) cream

2 tablespoons strong espresso coffee

a 680 gram (24 ounce) jar of morello cherries

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup dark chocolate curls *

½ cup dark chocolate shavings **

* To make chocolate curls run a potato peeler down the edge of a block of chocolate.

** To make chocolate shavings use an ordinary fine grater or a Micro-Plane.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to approx 420 degrees fahrenheit. Place a sheet of baking paper on two large baking tray and draw 8″ rounds.

2. Separate your eggs making utmost care not to contaminate the egg whites with any egg yolk. Any fat in the egg whites will prevent them from beating properly and will weigh them down.

3. Beat your egg whites until they are stiff and add your sugar slowly along with the vanilla essence, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Turn your bowl upside down to make sure the whites are stiff enough. If not, beat another minute or so then check again.

4. Sift the cocoa powder into the raw meringue and fold through carefully ensuring you leave streaks of cocoa rather than fully incorporating it.

5. Shape the meringue into the two rounds on the baking paper/trays. Place meringues into oven and immediately turn temperature down to 250 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for 90 minutes then turn off oven, do not remove meringues until oven is cool.

Topping:

1. Drain the morello cherries into a colander with a bowl underneath it to catch the syrup. Give the cherries a shake to make sure the syrup drains out of them. You will want the cherries quite dry so give them a bit of time to drain.

2. Pour the cherry syrup into a saucepan and over medium heat reduce it down to a honey-like consistency (about 5 to 10 minutes). If you over-reduce you can add a little bit of water and whisk through to make it more liquid again. Set aside.

3. Beat the cream with the coffee until stiff peaks form. With a silicone spatula spread half of the cream over the bottom meringue, place cherries on the cream along with half of the chopped walnuts. Sprinkle half of the chocolate shavings over the meringue.

4. Place the top meringue layer over the bottom. Spread the remaining cream over it along with the cherries, nuts and chocolate shavings. Top with the chocolate curls. Drizzle the cherry syrup over the entire pavlova.

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