Recipe: Chocolate & almond pavlovas with cherry & chocolate sauces

It doesn't get much more Kiwi than pavlova.
AARON MCLEAN

It doesn't get much more Kiwi than pavlova.

The classic pav gets a decadent miniature makeover with toasted almonds, cherry sauce and gooey amaretto-spiked chocolate. 

These are very rich so if you prefer, you can make eight to 12 smaller pavlovas (almost meringue-sized). 

CHOCOLATE & ALMOND PAVLOVAS WITH CHERRY & CHOCOLATE SAUCES
Serves 6

For the cherry sauce
¼ cup sugar
500g cherries, halved, pitted
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

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Put the sugar in a saucepan with ¼ cup water and bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries and vanilla bean. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the vanilla bean and use the tip of a knife to scrape the seeds back into the sauce. Set aside to cool then refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the chocolate sauce
100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
125ml cream
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon amaretto or other liqueur

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat very gently, stirring until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth sauce. Cool and refrigerate until needed. Before serving, you will need to warm the sauce in the microwave or in a saucepan until it's a pourable consistency. Just reheat it gently, as you don't want it to be hot.

For the mini pavlovas
4 large egg whites
pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
100g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
100g almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
300ml cream, whipped, to serve

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Preheat the oven to 150°C. Draw 6 x 9cm-diameter circles on a piece of baking paper.

Put the egg whites and salt in a bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat until very thick and glossy. Sift the cornflour over the mixture then gently fold in, along with the vanilla, vinegar, chocolate and almonds.

Lightly dampen the back of the baking paper (this helps it to adhere to the tray) then put it on a baking tray. Spoon the meringue on to the circles and use a spatula or knife to spread it into circles then sweep up the sides, from bottom to top (this helps to strengthen the sides). Smooth the tops.

Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 130°C and cook for a further 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, put each pavlova on a plate and top with whipped cream then drizzle with the cherry and chocolate sauces.

 - Cuisine

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