Sweets for the Holidays

Pavlova%2C+the+perfect+winter+dessert.

Pavlova, the perfect winter dessert.

Albany Castor

 

If you’re like me, the word “dessert” is automatically highlighted in bold when I read it on a page and in person, its music to my ears.

Truly, what is the point of eating an extravagant holiday meal without something sweet to coat your taste buds at the end of the night? Exactly. There is no point. 

When it comes to the holidays and filling desserts, pies and fluffy meringue seem to be a top hit in my book. Simplicity meets an array of flavors that are hard to beat, creating the classic chocolate cream pie and Australian delicacy of a pavlova; two of my favorites for more than just the reason of tasting so good.

I find that these desserts remind me of two significant factors in my life: warmth and liveliness. 

The Pavlova is an Australian cake, named and created in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. The cake incorporates a light crunch and a soft chew with a creamy and refreshing berry and cream topping to cut the sugary meringue base. Most pavlova recipes lack the addition of salt, which I find to be an essential ingredient in making the flavors in the dessert come full circle.

The recipe calls for:

 

MERINGUE

-4 eqq whites

-1 1/4 cups of white sugar

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

-1 teaspoon of lemon juice

-2 teaspoons of cornstarch 

-an assortment of your favorite fruits or berries (my favorites are raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries)

 

WHIPPED CREAM

-1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

-1/2 cup of powdered sugar

-1 teaspoon of vanilla

Begin by preheating the oven to 300 degrees F and drawing a 9-inch circle on a piece of parchment paper and lining it on a baking sheet. This will serve as a guideline when pouring down your meringue.

In a large bowl or standing mixture, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, from here, add in the sugar at a slow and steady pace, continuing to beat the mixture. Once the meringue is developed into a thick glossy substance, fold in the vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch.

Pour the mixture onto your parchment paper, spreading it to fit the drawn circle, while leaving the edges slightly thicker than the center.

Bake for 1 hour and cool sufficiently.

While the meringue is baking, place whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl

Using a hand mixer, beat ingredients until stiff peaks form. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Once the meringue has cooled, add whipped cream and berries on top of the dessert

Dust the Pavlova with powdered sugar and serve.

 

The chocolate cream pie comes around, calling a whole new group of sweet tooths… the chocolate lovers. After all, buttery crust and rich chocolate tend to catch anyone’s attention.

The recipe calls for:

Chocolate creme pie, perfect for chocolate lovers.

FILLING

-pie crust (store-bought is fast and equally as delicious)

-2 tablespoons unsalted butter

-1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-2/3 cup granulated sugar

-3 tablespoons cornstarch

-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

-1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for richer chocolate flavor

-1/8 teaspoon salt

-3 large egg yolks

-1 cup heavy cream, divided

-2 cups of milk

 

WHIPPED CREAM

-1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

-1/2 cup of powdered sugar

-1 teaspoon of vanilla

 

Begin by pre-baking the crust at the time and temperature advised on the box. Allow it to cool until the filling is ready.

Place the vanilla, chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl, and put it to the side.

In a saucepan, whisk all dry ingredients. Add in 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and whisk in egg yolks.

Place saucepan over medium heat, slowly whisking in the remaining heavy cream and the milk.

Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to thicken while continuing to whisk.

Remove from heat and pour over the butter and chocolate bowl, whisking until smooth.

Place plastic wrap on surface of filling to prevent a film from forming and put the mixture into the refrigerator to cool.

place whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl

Using a hand mixer, beat ingredients until stiff peaks form. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Once all components have chilled, pour the filling into the pie crust, add whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.

 

The pavlova and chocolate cream pie check all the boxes, including a happy stomach.

From my content tastebuds to yours, happy holidays!