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Double-Chocolate Pavlova

Pavlova is a dessert that was created in Australia by a pastry chef to honor the famed Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. This double-chocolate version of the dessert is an airy, crisp, light meringue bowl filled with whipped cream and tropical fruit.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

4 eggs

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup superfine sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2 cups heavy whipping cream

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwis, and bananas

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  3. Using a 9-inch cake cardboard or cake pan as a guide, trace a circle in the middle of the foil.

  4. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a large mixing bowl.

    Discard the yolks.

  5. Add the cream of tartar to the bowl.

  6. Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.

  7. Slowly sprinkle on the sugar while whipping the egg whites until they hold firm peaks, about 3 minutes.

  8. Sift the cornstarch and cocoa powder together.

  9. Add to the egg whites while mixing on low speed.

  10. Blend well

  11. Add the vinegar and blend.

  12. Using a rubber spatula, spread the meringue mixture onto the foil.

    Use the circle as a guide.

  13. Mound the mixture around the outer edges so they’re slightly thicker than the center, creating a shallow bowl.

  14. Place the baking sheet in the oven.

  15. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F.

  16. Dry the meringue in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

  17. Turn the oven off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon.

  18. Leave the meringue in the oven until cool.

    You can prepare the meringue up to 2 days in advance and store it at room temperature tightly wrapped in aluminum foil.

  19. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water.

    Or melt it in a microwave oven on low power for 30-second intervals.

  20. Place the cream in a large mixing bowl.

  21. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.

  22. Remove the top pan of the double boiler (if using) and wipe the bottom and sides very dry.

  23. Cool the chocolate slightly.

  24. Fold the chocolate into the whipped cream.

  25. Place the meringue bowl on a serving plate.

  26. Mound the cream in the center of the meringue.

  27. Prepare and slice the fresh fruit.

  28. Arrange 4 cups fruit on top of the meringue in concentric circles.

    Assemble the dessert no more than 1 hour before serving.

  29. Refrigerate the dessert until ready to serve.

  30. Cut into wedges with a sharp serrated knife.

Per serving: Calories 274 (From fat 154); Fat 17g (Saturated 11g); Cholesterol 47mg; Sodium 30mg; Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary fiber 3g); Protein 3g.

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