Cakes, cookies and other sweet treats · Nothing but desserts

Baby pavlovas with amaretto plum compote and hot chocolate sauce

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Tis the season for indulgence tralalalala la la la la. And nothing is more indulgent then these little baby pavlovas. They’re the perfect vessel for mounds of soft whipped cream, spoonfuls of boozy plum compote and a good dousing of hot chocolate sauce. Are you with me on these yet? No, not quite? Ok let’s keep going. Our plum compote is spiked with cinnamon and amaretto – making it sweet, spicy and a little naughty. The bitter chocolate sauce is warm and inviting, cutting through the sweetness of the compote. Finally the super soft whipped cream just melts in your mouth, along with our marshmallow-inside-crunchy-outside pavlova. Dreamy.

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These pavlovas take a little upfront time but are worth all the effort. Once you’ve made the individual components it’s only a matter of minutes before this dessert is in your belly. Perfect if you’re like me and have zero patience when it comes to sweet things.

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Perfect for a get together, these babies have a real wow factor and taste just as good as they look. So pile them up on a board, go crazy with that chocolate sauce and sprinkle all over with icing sugar. Now brace yourself for the list of ingredients below but promise that you’ll give these a go. Even just the once.

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Warning: This is a bit of a long list but don’t be put off. It’s not as scary as it first seems!

Ingredients makes 6

Baby pavlovas

2 large eggs, whites only

250 grams golden caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon cornflour

Amaretto plum compote

4 plums, sliced into 6 wedges and stone removed

1 teaspoon golden caster sugar

4 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons amaretto

Hot chocolate sauce

150 grams dark chocolate at least 70%, broken into small pieces

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Whipped cream

330 ml double cream

Steps

Baby pavlova

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, 350 F) and put on ‘Dig Dis’ by Hank Mobley. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and whisk until fluffy and peaks form. Slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks are formed.

2. Mix the vinegar and cornflour together, it will be quite chalky, then add this to the pavlova mixture and whisk briefly again.

3. Use a large glass to draw 6 circles on parchment paper, you’ll need two separate trays for this, and dab a small amount of the pavlova mixture on the underside of the parchment paper in each corner. This will help keep your parchment paper in place on the baking trays and stop it moving around. Spoon the pavlova mixture evenly between the 6 circles and spread the mixture out using a spoon, making sure to heap the sides up a little to allow the filling to sit in the center.

4. Place the pavlovas in the oven and immediately turn it down to 150C (130C fan, 280F) and cook for 30 minutes. Leave the pavlovas in the oven as it cools.

Amaretto plum compote

1. Place all the ingredients in a small pan over a medium heat and bring the mixture to vigorous simmer. Cook the plums for 10-15 minutes or until the plums are soft when pierced with a knife.

2. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then gently mash the plums to make a rough compote.

Hot chocolate sauce

1. Boil a kettle and pour the hot water into a pan, leaving enough room for a bowl to sit on top without touching the water. Turn the heat up to medium and place a large bowl over the top. Place the broken chocolate in the bowl and stir every now and again until melted. Add the coconut oil to the mixture and mix well. Set aside.

Whipped cream

1. Place the double cream in a large bowl and whisk until soft but stiff peaks form.

Assemble!

1. Place the mini pavlovas on a serving board and spoon a large tablespoon of whipped cream onto each pavlova. Next spoon a large tablespoon of plum compote on top of the cream and generously drizzle over the hot chocolate sauce.

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