I always freeze any left over egg whites after using the yolks for yolks only recipes. This meant I had little containers of egg white in my freezer patiently waiting for me to use it up. Now my freezer is one packed place, there is fish , meats and poultry, parboiled vegetables left over bits of pastry etc... Since my sister in law and her hubby were coming over to go and watch the Samoa Circus with us and later have dinner at our home, I decided to make a nice desert as they both were big desert fans.
In Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer , she makes a chocolate and raspberry pavlova, which looked pretty divine . But I didnt want to add vinegar as she had and we dont get fresh raspberries over here. So I changed the recipe a little by following my usual pavlova recipe but folding in cocoa powder and milk chocolate chips before baking. Topped it with cream and strawberries and grated shower of dark chocolate. You should have seen the big grin I got from my hubby's brother in law.
Now making a pavlova is quite easy once you learn the basic , one is its good to have a hand held beater or those kitchen aid cake mixers, because whipping egg whites by hand is not an easy task. The bowl you use should be clean, and dry. To make sure there is no grease rub the cut side of a lemon or lime all over the inside of the bowl and wipe dry with a clean towel before using. When baking the pavlova bake at the lowest setting possible for 1 hour, dont open to check , after one hour switch off and leave the door of oven half open and cool inside the oven.
Recipe Chocolate Pavlova , recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Raspberry pavlova.
4 egg whites
200g castor sugar ( or grind regular white sugar if you dont have any castor sugar)
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp corn flour
125 g milk chocolate chips or chop up a bar of milk chocolate
300 ml whipping cream , whipped to soft peaks
fresh strawberries, halved
small bit of dark chocolate
1. Preheat oven to gas mark 2.
2. In a clean dry bowl beat your egg whites till soft peaks, add a spoon of sugar at a time beating after every addition till you use up the sugar.Beat till stiff peaks and glossy.
3. Add cocoa powder, corn flour and milk chocolate and fold very gently .
4. Take a baking sheet and a piece of baking paper ( I like to draw a circle on the paper as a rough guide). Pile the pavlova mix in a rough circle , pile high so you get nice meringue base.
6. While your pavlova is cooling, whip your cream and cut the strawberries.
7. Just before serving, take your pavlova out, spread with cream and arrange the fruit on top. Grate the dark chocolate on top , chill for 10 minutes and serve. Its best to put cream just before serving as it can cause the meringue to collapse and go a bit soft.
Note: I think the next best fruit to use if strawberries are not available would be pears , you know there is pear and chocolate pudding so probably some nice slices of canned pear might be nice.