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Layered Chocolate Pavlova

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Two layers of chocolate pavlova with crispy shells and soft centers layered with a dark chocolate ganache and a peanut butter whipped cream.
Prep Time 40 mins

Equipment

  • stand mixer to whip the meringue, can also use this for the mousse

Ingredients

Chocolate Pavlova

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 320 g granulated sugar (or turbinado sugar, ground in a food processor) 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (plain, apple cider or red wine)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa

Chocolate Ganache

  • 200 g dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids chips or a chopped bar
  • 120 g heavy cream

Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 235 g heavy cream
  • 113 g cream cheese, half a brick softened
  • 70 g smooth peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut or cashew butter 1/4 cup
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • nuts, for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250 F. Draw an 8 inch circle on two sheets of parchment paper and lay them (pencil side down) on a greased cookie sheet.
  • If you are using turbinado sugar, grind it in a food processor until most of it is powder.
  • Set a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and pour in the egg whites and sugar. Whisk continuously as the sugar dissolves, this will take 4-7 minutes. When you can pinch the mixture with your fingers and can’t detect any sugar granules, it’s done.
  • Pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, set the speed to low and gradually crank it up to medium high. It will need to whip for 7-10 minutes, until it’s thick and glossy. Toward the end of whipping, pour in the vanilla, salt and vinegar. Stop when it hits stiff peaks; you can hold up the whisk and the meringue doesn’t droop.
  • Over the meringue, sift cocoa powder and cornstarch and use a rubber spatula to gently fold it in, careful not to deflate the meringue. It’s okay if there are a couple of streaks of cocoa or unmixed meringue. Divide the meringue between the two prepared pans and use an offset spatula to smooth it down into one layer, keeping it in the shape of the circle you drew.
  • Set the pans in the oven to bake (if your oven is large enough, side by side, if not one in the center and one on the bottom will work) for 2 hours. When you can open the oven (gently) and touch the pavlovas and they seem dry, shut off the oven. Let the pavlovas cool down and dry out in the oven for another 1-2 hours or overnight.
  • When it’s time to remove them use an offset spatula to loosen them from the parchment paper.
  • Make the chocolate ganache by scalding the heavy cream: cook it in a pot over medium heat until it just bubbles on the sides) then pour it over the chocolate and stir until you have a smooth ganache. Use the ganache to top while it’s still spreadable but not hot.
  • For the Nut Mousse: Set all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the cream is thick. This won’t take long, 2 minutes at most. If it starts to look lumpy add a bit more heavy cream and stir it in until smooth.
  • To build the layered pavlova: set the first layer of pavlova on a serving plate, spread half of the ganache over it into an even layer then spread half of the mousse on top and add nuts if you wish. The pavlova may crack under the weight of the ganache and cream, that’s ok. Stack the second layer of pavlova on top and repeat steps. Best served immediately after assembly. Leftovers can keep in an airtight container in the fridge.