Monday, June 23, 2014

Birthday Weekend

We celebrated the fiance's birthday on Saturday! There were balloons, a pavlova cake, and presents of course! We spent the afternoon with some friends before having dinner with his family at Barbie and then coming back to our place for cake.

The fiance loved his birthday cake so I thought I would share the recipe with you! The pavlova is almost the same as my chocolate almond meringue recipe, just with a little extra thrown in!

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Pavlova Cake (slightly adapted from Nigella)
Makes one 9-inch, 2 layer cake

6 large egg whites, at room temperature
300 g granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
50 g dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 80% cacao)
50 g almonds, coarsely chopped

400 ml heavy cream
200 g skyr or greek yogurt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
500 g raspberries, washed and dried
50 g dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F. On a piece of parchment paper and with a pencil, trace the bottom of a 8-inch cake pan twice for your two pavlova layers. Leave some space between the two circles if possible because the pavlovas will expand in the oven. Turn the parchment paper over so that the pencil marks will not touch the meringue mixture later.

Beat the eggs on high with a mixer until you reach soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract, gradually add the sugar, and continue to beat until the meringue is stiff and shiny. You should be able to turn the mixing bowl over with anything spilling out. Sift the cocoa powder over the meringue and throw in the balsamic vinegar, the chopped dark chocolate and almonds. Gently fold everything into the meringue.

Divide the meringue mixture into two and spread it out on the baking tray over the two circles you have drawn. Place the baking sheet into the center of the oven and immediately turn the heat down o 150C or 300F and bake the meringues for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When it is ready, the meringue should look crisp around the edges, dry on top but still marshmallowy in the center when you touch it. Let the meringue cool in the oven, with the oven door left slightly open. You can store the pavlovas in an airtight container for a day or two before serving.

When you are ready to serve the cake, beat the heavy cream until you reach soft peaks. Add the tablespoon of sugar and vanilla extract and beat again until you have whipped cream. Fold the skyr into the cream. Place one pavlova on a large plate or cake stand and spread half of the cream on top of it. Place half or your raspberries on top of this first layer before stacking the second pavlova on top. Spread the rest of the cream over top and add the remaining raspberries. Garnish with some more chocolate and serve immediately. If you are in Denmark or celebrating a birthday, top the cake with some little flags and a candle!

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