On a recent Saturday, a Chocoholics Party was held at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen for those smitten with all permutations of desserts: chocolate. On this special day we were feted with Cherry-Almond Chocolate Truffles, Italian Piedmont Chocolate Pear Tart, Chocolate Crepes filled with Chocolate Espresso Mousse, and Chocolate Pavlovas & Cheesecake Mousse topped with Strawberry Balsamic Compote. Now don’t you wish you had been there for this class? Seriously, look at the Strawberry Balsamic Sauce dripping down the side of that Pavlova. Grace-Marie really out-did herself this time.
The egg whites and granulated sugar are whisked into a meringue and then the cocoa powder is folded in until blended.
The Pavlovas were made the day before class, so I took these photos from a previous class, where Grace-Marie was making Meringues filled with Lemon Curd.
You can see how the Pavlovas were formed with an ice cream scoop and a well made in the center of each meringue with a rounded spoon.
The sliced strawberries are mixed with strawberry preserves and balsamic vinegar, cooked for a minute and cooled to room temperature, making that fabulous syrup that drips so wonderfully down the side of the Pavlova.
Below you can see the Chocolate Crepes with Chocolate Mousse, and the Chocolate Pavlova plated together and served to the class amidst oohs and aahs, and happy smiling faces.
For additional recipes from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen, look under Categories in the right-hand column.
Chocolate Pavlovas & Cheesecake Mousse Topped with Strawberry Balsamic Compote
½ cup egg whites (5+ eggs), room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon red wine or raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, combine egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Mix on medium speed until whites have broken up and mixture begins to slightly foam up.
3. Increase mixer speed slightly and slowly “rain” in sugar and cornstarch. Once completely added in and blended, add vinegar and increase mixer speed again to create lush, thick, smooth and shiny meringue (5 minutes or less).
4. Sprinkle cocoa powder over top of whites and mix on low speed until blended in (slowly count to 10 and you are done.)
5. Using a pastry bag with a plane large tip or large ice cream scooper, create eight 4-inch diameter mounds (or sixteen 2-inch mounds) of mixture and place them onto baking sheet pans approximately 2 inches apart. Using a spoon or back of scooper, create a “well” in the center of each.
6. Bake until pavlovas are crisp on the outside but moist on inside (40 minutes). Cool to room temperature on the pans.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pint heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, blend cream cheese until very soft. Slowly add cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Continue to mix until very thick and creamy. Chill until ready to serve.
Strawberry Balsamic Compote
1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
¼ cup strawberry preserves (may use raspberry or cherry)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Warm preserves and vinegar in a saucepan and add strawberries. Cook for a minute, turn off heat and cool to room temperature in saucepan. Transfer to bowl to serve.
Serve each Pavlova with a generous spoonful of Cheesecake Mousse in the center topped with Strawberry Balsamic Compote.