Chocolate Salted Caramel Pavlova. It’s a good thing these are so stunning because I gotta admit this was a struggle guys. To get here. To write the first words. To even get this Chocolate Salted Caramel Pavlova made. I think I drove myself crazy with this one. Does that ever happen to you? We’re friends. You could tell me.
The uncertainty with this today… it was a bit much. Do I want to make meringues? Are they post worthy? Do I want them to be big or small? Do I want them to be chocolate or vanilla? Do I want them to have cream or not? Fruit or no? I struggle a lot with indecision. I struggle a lot with finding things to talk about.
My life’s ambition is to make readers feel inspired and empowered with knowledge and solid foundations that they can use to re-create any of the recipes here and elsewhere. I want everyone to know the joy of cooking and baking when you have a solid set of skills to use to make it all come together.
My job is to create new and fresh recipes that you can re-create perfectly. My job is also to create photos and styling that make you want to make these recipes. And to write so that you actually want to read to the end of a post. I worry daily about living up to those job descriptions. And I compare….
I compare myself to others. A lot. Do you do this too? Ever find yourself on Pinterest or looking through magazines for “inspiration”… but really that brain of yours is in full-on compare mode. Yeah, like all the time. I gotta tell ya… Don’t do that! It results in what my girl Marie Forleo calls the Comaparison Hangover. Uggh! They’re GROSS. Because I’ve been comparing myself to other bloggers this week, I’ve realised that I have nothing lined for Saint Patricks’s day. No green cupcakes, no Guinness and whisky, no potato… anything. What… how did I let that happen?! How could this have been avoided? I know! I could have put myself on an editorial style calendar the way Dana from Minimalist Baker told me to do about 2 months ago. But oh no… I was too busy doing a whole lot of other things to do the one thing that will help me become less crazy busy and more organised. Holy Christmas(!!!!)… this is all going on in my head right now. You have days like this too, yes? So good to know that we’re together on this one. So I’m gonna get off the crazy train now and start to talk about some Chocolate Salted Caramel Pavlova business. Sound good to you? Yeah, me too. But what I want to say is that I love being here and hanging out with you guys, no matter what. And, I want you to have the best. The best recipes, best photos and the best resources. And I’m gonna do everything to make that happen.
So, let’s talk about these meringues. They are beautiful. Pavlova’s are a favourite of mine. Crunch… cream… caramel sauce. All the good stuff. And really easy. I always use a French meringue to make these. A French meringue is uncooked and dried out in the oven to pasteurise the egg whites. For pavlova I think that it’s the best option because the meringues will always turn out crisp and shiny on the outside and marshmallow-y on the inside. In the kitchen I work in, we make hundreds of meringues a week and French style is by far the best way. If you are an Italian meringue fan that’s cool. I use that too, but French has stolen my heart.
To make a stable meringue you gotta start the mixer on low, so that you get a million little bubbles. If you whack the mixer up right from the start you get a few really large bubbles. If one of them breaks, it makes a really unstable mix. If you’ve got a million little bubbles your meringue is much more stable. Imagine it’s like building a house. If you build your foundation on 4 large bricks and one crumbles you have a problem. If you use 100 bricks and one crumbles, your house still won’t fall down. This is exactly the way meringue works. Once you’ve got all the little bubbles you can whack the mixer up and all those little bubbles become big fluffy bubbles. That gives you a really stable meringue mix.
French meringues can have a tendency to weep (moisture seeping out). This is where corn starch and vinegar come into the mix. Cornstarch helps to suck up some of the excess moisture and the vinegar acid helps to firm it up a bit.
Once you have that super stable meringue all you need to do is swirl in some melted and cooled chocolate. Use a lined baking tray and spoon heaping piles of soft, pillowy meringue on to the tray. Leave in a 100c oven for a couple hours. Whip some cream and make a super simple and quick caramel sauce. The roasted peanuts are optional… but so worth it.
I know this post is a biggie. Thanks for reading all the to the end. You guys are the BEST! Mwah!
- 200g egg whites
- 400g sugar
- 1 Tbsp corn starch (corn flour)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 100g chocolate, melted and cooled
- 125g whipping cream, softly whipped
- Caramel Sauce
- 200g sugar
- 90g butter, diced
- 120ml whipping cream
- 5g sea salt
- Honey roasted peanuts
- Pre-heat oven to 100c. Place egg whites and 350g sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start to whisk on low speed (#2) for about 5 minutes. Once you have lots of little bubbles turn the mixer up to high and continue to whisk. Add the corn starch and vinegar. While the meringue is still whisking add the last 50g sugar a Tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until you have a firm, stiff meringue mixture. Drizzle the melted chocolate onto the top to the meringue and gently fold the chocolate through.
- Spoon large dollops of this meringue onto greaseproof lined baking trays. Continue to drizzle the chocolate and fold and scoop the meringue onto the trays until all the mixture is used.
- Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 2 hours, or until the meringues come away from the baking paper without sticking.
- For the caramel sauce
- Place a pan on a medium heat and melt the sugar a little at a time until all is melted. Leave on the heat until a deep golden brown caramel is reached. In increments add the butter dice. Be very careful. The caramel will bubble and spit. Mix this in well.
- Add the cream. Being very careful again with the bubbling and spitting.
- Finally add the sea salt and mix.
- To build the pavlovas, dollop some whipped cream onto the top of the meringues and top that with the caramel sauce and roasted peanuts.
- Leave to cool before pouring this over the whipped cream