A pavlova that cooks in 20 minutes? Surely not! But forget everything that you've been taught about pavlovas and you can make this gorgeous Black Forest Pavlova in less than half an hour. Yep that's not a misprint, the whole thing can be made in less time that it would take you to walk or drive to the shops and buy it! Christabel, this Black Forest Beauty has a crispy outer, a soft light centre and is topped with dark chocolate shavings, morello cherries, Chambord infused whipped cream and dark chocolate sauce!
It's true that you're never too old to learn anything. And for years and years I have made pavlovas the traditional way. I whisk the eggs and sugar to make a meringue and then put it in a low oven for one and a half hours and allow it to cool overnight. It was a long process. But this easy and quick pavlova recipe tips that method on its head. This pavlova still gets the requisite crunchy exterior and then the spongy, soft interior. You pile it high with whipped cream and your favourite fruit and it's an unbeatable combination.
A few weeks agoI attended a truffle cooking class in Canberra. In it Alaine Chanter from Foodish showed us how to make a flourless roulade. It worked really well (and I'll share that recipe with you soon) but it was over our meal later that she casually made a reference to a super easy pavlova. The process is simple: weigh your egg whites, double the weight of the whites in caster sugar and whip it with a bit of cream of tartar. Then bake it at 180C/350F for 20 minutes. And voila, you have a pavlova!
With an upcoming holiday and loads of egg whites from a vanilla slice failure in a container in my fridge I felt I had nothing to lose (well except the caster sugar). I didn't expect it to work because well I figured there is a reason why people bake pavlovas in a low oven. I thought it might go the way of the aqua faba pavlovas or just not set. When I pulled it out, it looked...well it looked just like a normally baked pavlova. I carefully lifted it off. The centre was fluffy and the top was crunchy, just like a regular pavlova!
There was a bit of a difference: smell of eggs was more pronounced in this but once I made it and refrigerated it, that disappeared. And what I had was the most gorgeous Black Forest pavlova. Why black forest? Well we hadn't bought much fruit at the shops because of our upcoming trip and I took out a jar of morello cherries that I had in the pantry and added some dark chocolate shavings, sauce and lashings of Chambord whipped cream. Usually kirsch, a cherry brandy is used in Black Forest but I prefer Chambord raspberry liqueur more (or you can also use Cassis). And please don't miss out on the Chambord, it transforms this pavlova. And nothing brightens up a day like this cake.
If I were to have a calendar of objects it would probably not feature cats, half naked men or dogs but the most likely to adorn my wall would be a calendar of cakes. I get a certain joy from baking cakes and once done, I almost feel as though I've been visited by someone special by its mere festive presence. I think that's why I give them names-because I think I'm being visited by royalty. Speaking of calendars, Belinda told me about an incident she had at work one day. She has a mad crush on actor Ryan Gosling and she has a Ryan calendar in her cubicle at work.
One day she was walking back towards the desk and could see something amiss. Someone had drawn a monobrow on Ryan's face and as she neared her desk the anger in her chest rose and her fists balled up. "WHO DID THIS???" she demanded looking around at her colleagues. "I'm going to report you to HR for defacing Ryan!!". A friend of hers piped up, "Sorry Bel it was me, I was having a crappy day and I just saw his face and thought how much I wanted to draw on it." Sniffing Belinda regarded her friend. "You're lucky we're friends because otherwise I'd be reporting you straight away!" she said still furious that her beloved Ryan was now sporting a thick monobrow. That was a moment that no doubt, required cake!
So tell me Dear Reader, what would you hang up a calendar of? Have you ever tried a quick pavlova? What is your favourite fruit to top a cake with? And do you prefer Kirsch or Chambord?
Christabel, The Quick Black Forest Pavlova
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes (much of which can be done while it is baking)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 225g/8ozs. egg whites, at room temperature* (make sure there is not a spot of egg yolk in them
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 450g/16ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
- 300ml/10.6fl ozs. cream
- 3 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar
- 5 tablespoons Chambord (a must, this really makes this pavlova something special)
- 50g/1.7ozs. dark chocolate bar
- 550g/19.43ozs. morello or sour cherries, drained well
- 50g/1.7ozs chocolate
- 3 tablespoons cream extra
If it is winter where you are, then sit the egg whites in a bowl within another bowl of hot water. The warmer they are, the more they whip up.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line the base and sides of a 30x20cm lamington tray with parchment. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy and then gradually pour in the sugar and whip until you get a stiff meringue. It shouldn't move if you tip the bowl upside down. Spoon into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 2 - Meanwhile while it is baking, make a ganache by melting the chocolate and extra cream and mixing until smooth and place in a small piping bag. Whip the cream with the extra caster sugar and vanilla until it can hold its shape. Add in the Chambord and whip again until it becomes stiffer. Place in the fridge until needed. Shave the chocolate using a vegetable peeler. The chocolate shaves and curls best when the chocolate bar it is room temperature. Set aside the shavings in the fridge. Drain the cherries well.
Step 3 - Gently remove the pavlova from the tin. Cool the pavlova on a serving tray and wait until completely cold or the cream will melt. Spread over the cream and then add the cherries. Drizzle over with the chocolate ganache and then sprinkle over with the chocolate shavings. Place in the fridge for an hour or two and then serve.