Friday, January 9, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

These last few months have been interesting for me. My whole life I have been busy. Balancing work and school and friends. Since childhood there hadn't really been a time where I had an extended vacation. Sure I have had a week off here and there, but it's always been filled with travel. My summers in college were filled with extra classes to prepare best for graduate school. I would only take a class or two, but then I would still spend the rest of the day in lab tinkering around with my algae cultures. I graduated college in the summer, and moved from Tennessee to Baltimore the next day. After a few semesters I decided I didn't want to pursue a phD anymore and started work for Roots Market building their bakery. The first few months were long and then the next 2 years were so busy that they slipped by without my barely noticing. So these last few months in Philadelphia, I have only been working part time. I have had more free time in my life that I did since I was a child. While I have a few large projects that I haven't mentioned yet to the general public, I honestly haven't made much progress on them. I have really been reveling in being able to do whatever I want. And while I have felt my share of guilt for not being more proactive or successful just yet, I'm trying to enjoy it.
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.

leaves and flours vegan Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

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.


  1. When looking through my dashboard I read "Chocolate Raspberry Dream". lol Me and my sweet tooth.
    It's always good to have time to yourself and get things done that have been put off. I recently started writing to a couple of friends which feels real good. :) Hope you keep enjoying your free time.

  2. I just recently finished school and have been enjoying some amazing free time myself! I used to think I wanted a PhD as well, but soon realized that was not the lifestye for me. That raspberry treat looks like a dream!

  3. Your recipes are the best! I can understand how you feel, if I have too much free time it often ends in chaos, so I think you are doing fine:) Enjoy!