Tag Archives: meringue

Chocolate pots with toasted marshmallow

I had no idea what a s’more was until I read this gorgeous post from Kay at Pure Complex. A quick search online told me that it was a traditional American campfire snack of chocolate with toasted marshmallow, sandwiched between two graham crackers.

There was something appealing about the combination of textures and flavours, and the pictures were too damn cute for me not to want to try it.

My recipe below pretty closely follows the recipe and recommendations from Raspberri Cupcakes to make espresso cup-sized rich, creamy chocolate pot de crèmes with a fluffy meringue topping that has been toasted, served with digestive biscuits. You really don’t need any more than this size, and it’s a really lovely end to dinner.

Before I was let loose with my blowtorch

Ingredients makes 6 espresso cup-sized desserts

  1. 100g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cocoa)
  2. 150ml pouring cream
  3. 1 tbsp freshly brewed coffee
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 25g caster sugar
  6. pinch salt

For the marshmallow fluff:

  1. 2 egg whites
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 80g sugar

Digestive biscuits to serve

Method

  1. Heat chocolate, cream and coffee in a saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a separate heatproof bowl placed over simmering water for 5 minutes or until thick and pale
  3. Slowly pour the chocolate and egg/sugar mixture and whisk on high for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and cool
  4. Pour into serving cups and chill in the fridge for at least two hours
  5. To make the marshmallow:
  6. Making sure your bowl is clean and dry, whisk together the egg whites and salt until foamy and at least doubled in size
  7. S-l-o-w-l-y incorporate the sugar, continually beating after each addition, to make sure the sugar has dissolved and you get stiff glossy peaks
  8. I have made meringue so many times and the only time I can control it, especially in such small cups, is to pipe it over the chocolate, but if you are feeling a bit on the wild side, go nuts doing this freehand
  9. Using a blowtorch, carefully toast the marshmallow and enjoy that comforting smell
  10. Serve with digestive biscuits either cut to shapes/soldiers or crumbled over the top

Pavlova

pavlova with fresh cream and berries

Pavlova is another one of those desserts whose origin seems locked in battle between Australia and New Zealand.  I don’t care who “invented” it, I’m just grateful for it, no matter where it comes from.

It’s a dessert which seems to invoke fear in people trying to make it, but I have made it enough times to know that with some basic rules, it’s a simple and impressively sweet treat to make.  You end up with this perfect blend of crisp outer shell with marshmallowy centre, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

The basic rules:

  1. Use a clean bowl and beater – any oil, egg yolk, water, soap etc will limit the volume that you will get from your egg whites
  2. If you’re in humid weather, beat your egg whites with the airconditioner on.  Humidity also minimises volume
  3. I make my pavlova a touch less sweet, but you need at least 50g of sugar per egg white to keep the stiffness in the meringue mix
  4. Make sure you add the sugar to the egg whites gradually, making sure you beat well until the sugar is dissolved (taste some of the mix, if it’s gritty, you need to beat it more)
  5. When the cooking is done, let the pavlova cool in the oven with the oven door closed or at the most open only a crack or your pavlova will collapse

OK that’s a few more than I thought, but really, it’s not that difficult, honest !

Ingredients (to feed 6 people or 4 greedy ones)

  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g castor sugar
  • splodge of vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Whipped cream and fruit to top

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Beat egg whites with salt until satiny peaks form
  3. Add castor sugar in small batches, beating well between each so that the sugar has dissolved
  4. fold in the vanilla, cornflour and vinegar
  5. Pile on to a tray lined with baking paper (you can draw a 15cm circle on the underneath of the baking paper to help), flatten the top a little (so you can add the topping)
  6. Put into oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 150C and bake for 30 minutes
  7. Reduce the temperature to 120C and bake for another hour
  8. Turn off oven at the end and let the pavlova cool in the oven
  9. Top with fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit

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