There are days as a blogger and baker that things just do not go to plan. Sometimes you are rushed, stressed, busy and are pushing to get things prepared, cooked and iced quickly, photographed, photoshopped, recipe written, blog post written and uploaded in a short space of time. I had a wonderful vision of how I wanted this recipe to turn out, be decorated and photographed.... but to my perfectionist eye I feel that it all fell a little flat in terms of execution. So forgive me for the lack lustre pictures this dessert presents.... I just had one of those days! You know?
I had visions of a nicely shaped pavlova - nice and high and thick, lavishly spread with chocolate mousse and spread nicely with cherries. I think it was the pavalova base that let me down. It was my fault however, I was being stingy and only made a half a pavalova recipe... that's what you get for being stingy people - a pavlova that looks like a flat pie. However there is a redeeming quality in this dessert.... it tasted AMAZING! The combination of flavours worked just perfectly even if it looks a little lack lustre in the photos. Deliciously soft and pillowy pavlova with a creamy chocolate mousse finished with a sweet and slightly tart cherry sauce on top! Yum
There is another piece of good news for the lactose & gluten intolerant sufferers.... this dessert YOU can EAT! Yup how good is that! I was very excited when I came up with this recipe because I suffer with dairy intolerance and have never thoroughly enjoyed a fully prepared pavlova with lashings of topping. I always got the "uniced" piece with a few pieces of fruit to go with it. No lashings of cream for me and I just feel like I missed out everytime. Not this time!
This Blackforest Pavlova would be perfect to add to your christmas menu. It has a slight drizzle of whisky in the cherry sauce and it adds a nice "festive" cheer to the whole dessert. Serve it chilled on a hot humid and sticky christmas day and your guests will thank you for it... possible several times with there mouths full beacuse it's so good.
Now a word of warning - when you read the recipe ingredients for the chocolate mousse below you will see the main ingredient to be avocado. Don't freak out! Honestly you will not know that the mousse is made of avocado once you whiz it up. It is delicious - try not to lick the bowl once you've finished. I would avoid telling guests of this fact until after they've tasted and raved how good it is. They'll never believe you!
If your not into the avacado thing and your can have dairy, simply whip up 300ml of cream and add to that 1/4 cup of sifted cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of melted chocolate, mix to combine. Chill and replace instead of the chocolate mousse.
Pavlova Base Recipe Here
1 x 680g jar morello cherries
3 Tablespoon caster sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cornflour
2 -3 tbsp Whisky or Brandy *Optional*
2 cups avocado flesh (approx 4 medium avocados), pitted and scooped out
1/3 cup almond milk
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate, melted ( I used Rice Milk Chocolate)
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
Prepare and bake the pavlova base. Cool completely.
Drain the cherries, reserving 250ml of the juice. Reserve 10 cherries to decorate. Place the remaining cherries and reserved liquid into a saucepan. Add sugar and cornflour. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring until the mixture boils and thickens. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill.
In a electric blender or food processor place the avocado, almond milk, maple syrup, salt, extract and cocoa powder. Blend/process until the ingredients have combined to form a smooth and creamy mousse. Add the melted chocolate and process again to combine. Transfer to a bowl and refridgerate to chill.
Place the pavlova base onto a serving platter or cake stand. Carefully place the chocolate mousse mixture on top of the pavlova and gently spread evenly over the pavlova. Next place the thickened cherry sauce over the chocolate mousse and arrange the reserved cherries around the top of the pavlova. Finish with a grating of white or dark chocolate. Cut into wedges to serve.
*can be made a day ahead - store in an airtight container in the fridge
I will be linking this recipe up to the Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop which will be happening on the 27th of November 2011. Make sure you pop over and check out all the other delightful pavlova recipes!