For as long as it takes to make, this dessert can disappear just as quickly. Meringue has a texture that is at first crispy, then melts in your mouth like eating a candy cloud. Layered with chocolate and berries, the flavors cover a spectrum of sweet, from the dark to the bright. Like a ballerina dancer who brings the audience through a range of emotions, it’s only appropriate that it would be named after one – Anna Pavlova of Russia, one of the world’s most famous ballerinas from the turn of the 20th century.
Makes 10 servings
1 pint of blackberries
1 pint of raspberries
1 pint of strawberries
1 1/3 cup of superfine vanilla’d sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the chantilly
8 oz. of heavy whipping cream
6 egg whites
2 oz. of local honey
3 tbs. of unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbs. of Grand Marnier (or more to taste)
3 tsp. of vanilla extract, divided in 2 for the meringue and 1 for the chantilly
2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. of corn starch
• For the chocolate chantilly:
Sift together the cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of superfine sugar. Pour the whipping cream into a mixing bowl. Add the cocoa/sugar mixture and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract to the cream and with a hand mixer, whisk on low (speed 2) until evenly incorporated. Increase the speed to 4 or 5 to whip the cream into stiff peaks. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.
• For the pavlova:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Puts the 6 egg whites to a KitchenAid mixing bowl. Add the remaining vanilla extract and vinegar. With a whisk attachment, beat the eggs on speed 6 until the mix looks thick and glossy. Add 1 cup of the sugar, then sift together the remaining sugar with corn starch (save this last bit of sugar with corn starch to be added a moment later).
Mix the 1 cup of sugar into the eggs until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed to 2 or 3 so that you can add the sugar/corn starch without it poofing. Turn the speed up to the highest, and whip until you achieve firm peaks. You’ve just made a meringue.
Put a Silpat or a large piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Fit a piping bag with an open star tip, and fill it with the meringue. Using a 9″ springform as a guide placed on the mat or the paper, pipe a base filling the circle, then remove the springform. Decorate the top however you like: rosettes, ribbons, basketweave, pearls, stars, etc.
Bake for 5 hours. Remove the pavlova from the oven and let cool.
Mix the berries, honey, and Grand Marnier. Fit a piping bag with a round tip and fill it with the chocolate chantilly. Pipe the chantilly onto the pavlova, and spoon the mixed berries atop the chantilly.
If you have any leftover meringue, be creative. Chef Zach added some Renaissance Roaster coffee grounds to these little clouds; bake at 200 degrees F for 3 hours.
Zach just got an ice cream making attachment for his KitchenAid, and he wanted to be inventive with the first batch. Inspired by peanut butter and chocolate, which is a perfect combination, we went further to think of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk. The ice cream base acts as the milk; there are chunks of pound cake for the bread; peanut butter swirls, peanut butter marshmallow fluff, and honey roasted peanuts are the peanut butter; and a blackberry syrup is the jelly.
• For the ice cream:
2 1/4 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cups of frozen pound cake, cubed
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
5 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it thickens and turns pale yellow.
Combine the whole milk and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Put seeds and vanilla bean pod in the milk-cream mixture.
On medium heat, bring the milk-cream mixture to a light simmer, but not boiling. Remove from heat. Take a cup of the milk-cream mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks to temper it. Pour this egg-milk-cream mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk-cream.
On medium-low heat, cook again while stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, fully scraping down the sides and bottom to mix everything well. This will take about 3-5 minutes, until you reach nappe (a French term for when the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). It will seem thick like a very light custard. Put the mixture in a separate bowl, and cool in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or longer so that the vanilla has time to permeate.
Cut the frozen pound cake into cubes, and keep it in the freezer until ready to fold into the ice cream. After the ice cream base mixture is sufficiently cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer to catch any chunks of solid vanilla bean or coagulated egg. Rinse the vanilla bean pod very, very thoroughly, dry it, and put it in your household sugar container; this enhances your sugar to make it taste like vanilla for future recipes.
Follow the instructions to make the ice cream base with your KitchenAid or other ice cream maker. We used the KitchenAid and spun the ice cream for 22 minutes.
Transfer the frozen ice cream base to a pre-chilled glass or metal bowl. Fold the cubed pound cake into the ice cream; no more than 4 folds are necessary, or else you risk breaking up the pound cake. Microwave the peanut butter for 20-30 seconds until slightly melted and pourable. Pour the peanut butter over the top of the ice cream in a swirl, then use a knife to cut the peanut butter deep into the ice cream to form ribbons. Put the bowl in the freezer, covered with plastic wrap, for 4-5 hours.
• For the syrup:
2 pints of fresh blackberries
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 tbs. of lemon juice
In a small non-stick saute pan, cook down all ingredients for about 10 minutes, starting at medium heat for the first 3-4 minutes. At this point start smashing the berries with a wooden spoon or heat-proof plastic utensil (not metal or else you’ll damage your pan), then reduce the heat to medium-low for the remaining time. Stir frequently throughout the cooking process.
Strain mixture through a fine strainer to remove seeds, and smash any berry bits to try to maximize your juice coming through the strainer. Cool before use. We put it in a squeeze bottle for easier handling.
• For the peanuts:
1/4 lb. of raw blanched peanuts
2 tbs. of honey
1 tsp. of kosher salt
1 tsp. of white sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lay parchment paper or a Silpat on a cookie sheet. Toss the raw peanuts with honey, coating them evenly. Spread the peanuts over the parchment paper or Silpat. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once through the baking process to help them bake evenly. Their color should be a dark golden brown. After baking, sprinkle salt and sugar and stir the peanuts once more. Set aside in a bowl and allow to cool. Chop before serving.
• For the peanut butter marshmallow fluff:
1 jar of Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmallow cream, 7 oz.
1/2 cup of Skippy creamy peanut butter
In a small mixing bowl, combine marshmallow cream and peanut butter with a rubber spatula. Make sure it’s combined evenly – it will become a light tan color. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.