This right here, is what a Black Forest cake WISHES it could be. Layers of chocolate-swirled meringue with dark chocolate mousse, glossy cherries, soft whipped cream and some chocolate curls thrown in for funzies. Repeat until epic tower of delicious awesomeness is achieved.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper and draw 4 x 10-cm circles on the paper to use as a template guideline.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form, then gradually add in the caster sugar until completely dissolved. Whisk in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla. Divide the meringue between the 4 circles and spread into a disc using a palette knife. Drizzle with the chocolate and swirl to create a marble effect. Place in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until until crisp but still mallowy in the middle. (If you're not using a thermofam, place a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it ajar - this will help to dry them out faster).
To make the mousse, heat 75ml of the cream and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for a few minutes and then stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
Whip the remaining cream and set aside.
Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a glass or metal bowl and place over a pot of gently simmering water. Add the softened gelatine and gently whisk until the egg yolk mixture is hot to the touch (about 60 degrees celcius). Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously (you can use an electric mixer) until light and thick but still lukewarm.
Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate along with the whipped cream. Place in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours.
To make the syrupy cherries, place the sugar, water and cherries in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the cherries are softened. Allow to cool or pour into sterilized bottles and seal.
Assemble the pavlova by layering the meringue discs with spoonfuls of chocolate mousse, whipped cream and spoonfuls of cherries in syrup.
TIP: To make the golden cherries, mix 1 tsp edible gold dust (available to baking shops) with a few drops of vodka. Use a pastry brush to splatter or paint the cherries and allow the alcohol to evaporate completely until dry.
Recipe by Katelyn Allegra
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