I got my library card and have ready ten books since we moved. I've visited a few museums and parks. I've binge watched TV and written long letters to all the friends I miss in places all over the country. I've slept in and gone to bed whenever I want. I have been casually tinkering the the kitchen, developing new recipes and making old favorites for no one other than myself. It's the first time in my life that I haven't been so consumed by stress that I feel like I am melting down. It's been so nice.
Today it's twenty degrees, windy, bitter cold and the steps are still icy from the snow we got earlier this week, but my kitchen is warm and sunny. And I listened to The Goodbye Party & Radiator Hospital and danced around the kitchen, singing and baking banana bread and drinking tea. And while I know that this period of time is coming to an end and I'm ready to challenge myself again, I'm really happy that I let myself have this break. And I'm ok with wallowing in my emotions and really letting myself feel for the first time in too long.
This pavlova is one of the recipes I have been tinkering with. The last time I made meringue I used Ener-G egg replaced and while it help up nicely, I don't find it to have the most appealing flavor. This time I used a soy protein powder. The meringue whipped beautifully and tasted much better out of the bowl. I accidentally under-baked these a little which you can't see but can tell while eating because they are a little too chewy and not crisp enough. The whip is the new So Delicious cool whip again, but I have decided that it's not something I will be purchasing any more. It's time to invest in a little nitrous whipped so I can make my own perfect coconut whip cream with more consistent results.
Because of the cold, I wanted to make a heavier pavlova than I did in the summer so chocolate raspberry came to mind. While I tried to make chocolate meringue THREE times, each time the meringue melted in the oven. I have a feeling that the fat in the cocoa powder and the soy protein must be chemically incompatible, so I gave up and went for a ganache on top. Classic, simple, delicious. I also made a chocolate whipped cream and while it covered up some of the flavors of the cool whip that I didn't enjoy, I don't think that it looks very nice. The ganache is the more attractive way to go while chocolate meringue is eluding me.