Wishing you all a Happy Holidays with this finale to the 2018 season from me. I will toast you back in the new year with an abundance of new recipes to try. As for me, I am going to have a slice of this Pomegranate Cocoa Pavlova and spend some much needed time with my family making memories.
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
–Harriet van Horne
Pavlova is sweet, subtle chocolate crunchy meringue with softly whipped cream and tart pomegranate syrup. Enjoy this elegant light dessert after a hearty holiday meal.
Pomegranate Jelly Ingredients:
- 2 cups 100% pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ounce of powdered pectin
- 2 ½ cups white sugar
Cocoa Meringue ingredients:
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
Whipped Cream and Jelly Topping ingredients:
- ¼ cup Pomegranate Jelly
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Use a wide medium four qt. Stainless steel saucepan, combine pomegranate juice and lemon juice on medium heat. Add pectin and whisk till dissolved. Bring the mixture to a full boil while stirring constantly and boil for one minute. Remove pot from heat and skim off any residual foam.
Slowly ladle jelly liquid into sterile glass jars. Let cool before screwing on the lid. The jelly will become firm as it cools. Keep jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes enough jelly to give friends a jar as a gift with the recipe!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place an 11 inch square of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. With a pencil, trace a 7 inch round plate onto the parchment paper. Flip the paper over, so drawing is underneath and still visible.
In a food processor or blender process, one cup of sugar till finely ground. If using superfine sugar skip this step. Set aside.
Separate your eggs one at a time into a small bowl. Reserve yolks for another use.
Place egg whites into an electric mixer with a beater attachment. Beat egg whites on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes until they are stiff white peaks that stand tall. While the mixer is running, add the ground sugar at a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating till meringue is shiny and thick. When sugar is thoroughly mixed in continue beating for 4 to 5 more minutes on medium-high speed and no longer gritty. Test by rubbing a bit between your fingers.
Sift cocoa onto of meringue, add the cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, and cardamom. Fold everything together gently in circular strokes lifting from top to bottom of the bowl. Trying not to deflate the meringue until no streaks appear.
Quickly add a few dots of meringue under the four corners of the parchment paper to act like glue, so the paper doesn’t move when you spread the meringue.
Spread meringue with a spatula in a circular fashion within your 7-inch guide. Mound meringue all on top and then indent a well in the center. Don’t worry what it looks like; it will rise a bit in the oven.
Place the pavlova in the oven and IMMEDIATELY turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes. It will look crisp on the outside, but the center will feel soft. Do not open the oven door till the end of the cooking time. Opening the door will make the pavlova lose its oomph and sink. Resist the urge!
When done, turn off the heat and leave pavlova in the oven with the door cracked open a bit, so it cools down slowly. When completely cooled remove from oven and continue with recipe or store for up to one day covered loosely in plastic wrap and store on the countertop.
Don’t fret the pavlova is going to be cracked a little and the center might cave as well. Transfer the pavlova with a spatula to your serving plate.
Now its time to top your cocoa pavlova with liquified pomegranate jelly, pom seeds, and whipped cream.
Warm 1/4 cup jelly in the microwave or on stove top till it starts to melt. Whisk in a teaspoon of warm water to loosen jelly to a syrup status. Drizzle syrup onto the pavlovas center crater area. Sprinkle about half of the pom seeds over the syrup.
In a medium bowl whisk with an electric mixer the whipped cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Generously layer cream onto the pavlova and garnish with the rest of the pom seeds. Slice like a pie and serve immediately.
Adapted from Tammy Donroe Inman