Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mini Chocolate Pavolvas with Raspberry Curd

A series of posts on foodbuzz and foodgawker had planted in my mind the idea of making little cups of meringue and filling it with some kind of fruit curd. A white meringue seemed a bit boring though, so inspired by last month's daring baker's challenge of chocolate pavlovas, I settled on a chocolate meringue. The fruit choice was simple ... raspberries, of course. They're plentiful and delicious right now.

Sadly, my piping skills leave something to be desired, so instead of being cups or nests of meringue, these turned into round blobs of meringue with curd piled on top. Thankfully, they taste so good that I don't care.

I made a full batch of raspberry curd using the method from desserts for breakfast. The version I'm linking to has lime in it which sounds even more amazing, but I didn't think would mesh particularly well with chocolate. You'll have plenty of raspberry curd left over, but you could use it as a tart filling, between layers of cake, spread of biscuits, or just off the spoon. It should keep for about a month in an air-tight jar.

Mini Chocolate Pavlovas with Raspberry Curd (meringue from B More Sweet)

3 large egg whites
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
raspberry curd (see below)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300F. Line two baking sheet with silpat or parchment and set aside.
2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.
3. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
4. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
5. If you're ambitious, you could try forming these into little cups using a piping bag. If not, you can just form little meringue cakes on the baking sheet. I made about 5.
6. Place in oven and immediately lower temperature to 250F. Bake for 1 hour or until outside appears to be dry (don't open the oven!). Turn off oven and allow to cool inside without opening the door.
7. When cooled, top with raspberry curd.

Raspberry Curd (method from Desserts for Breakfast)

1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/3 cup boiling water

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth.
2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually blend in the raspberry puree.
3. Add the egg yolks and butter, blending until smooth.
4. Gradually add in the boiling water, stirring constantly.
5. Place the saucepan on medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring gently with a spatula and scraping the bottom (to prevent burning). Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for one minute.
6. Remove the curd from heat and let cool.

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