Christmas Baking: Chocolate Pavlova!

Christmas Baking: Chocolate Pavlova!

This year we wanted to create something rich and chocolatey for Christmas to pair with our Espresso Cream, but still keep the Australian tradition of a Christmas pavlova alive. So a Chocolate Pavlova made with balsamic vinegar ticked all the boxes! The addition of dark chocolate complements our sweet coffee cream very well, however our Vanilla Bean Double Cream or plain Double Cream would be equally as nice as a topping.

chocolatepav-web-8Here is the recipe:

Meringue

  • 50g good quality dark chocolate
  • 6 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tspn balsamic vinegar

    Toppings
  • 500g La Casa Del Formaggio Espresso Cream
  • 2 punnets of fresh raspberries
  • 30g good quality dark chocolate shards

 Preparation

Preheat the oven to 120C and line an oven tray with baking paper.

Draw a 20cm disc onto the paper and turn paper over so that writing is on the bottom side.

Finely chop the block of dark chocolate. Make sure the pieces are small enough to mix through the meringue mixture later.  In order to minimise cleaning, we would recommend to also grate the 30g of chocolate at the same time over the same chopping board!

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Crack eggs into a clean glass or steel bowl. Any food residue in the bowl can hamper your efforts to get the perfect whip, so make sure it is very clean! Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites  until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is glossy. You can tell that it is ready if you rub a bit between your fingers and it is no longer gritty.

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Sprinkle over the cocoa and the balsamic and fold through. Then add the chopped chocolate and fold with a spatula until the meringue is evenly mixed.

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Heap the mixture onto your circle on the baking tray. Smooth the top and then around the sides.

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Bake for 1.5 hours or until the pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven with the door ajar to cool completely.

Prior to serve, scoop a generous amount of Espresso Cream onto the top of the Pavlova and smooth it along the top. Top with fresh berries and chocolate shards. Enjoy it with friends and family!

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Smooth Ricotta Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe

Smooth Ricotta Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe

We were absolutely thrilled to see our Smooth Ricotta used as the hero ingredient on a recipe segment on Better Homes and Gardens!  Fast Ed (Ed Halmagyi) created a Creamy Chicken Casserole which is a lighter version than using heavy cream, and is great because it utilises ingredients that are mostly pantry staples. Watch the video and see the recipe below:

CREAMY CHICKEN CASSEROLE RECIPE

500g chicken thigh fillets

2 Tbsp plain flour

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 leek, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

sea-salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper

1.5 cups of dry white wine

375g La Casa Del Formaggio Smooth Ricotta

2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

75g La Casa Del Formaggio Grated Parmesan

 

Slice chicken into strips. Put flour into a large bowl and toss chicken to coat, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry chicken for 5 minutes until golden on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to low. Add butter, garlic and leek to the same pan, cooking for 5 minutes until softened. Season and then return chicken to this pan. Add wine, then ricotta and stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes with cover on,  until mixture has thickened and chicken is cooked.

Mix in peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until peas are bright and tender. Stir in parsley. Serve hot.

Baking Lemon Ricotta Biscuits!

Baking Lemon Ricotta Biscuits!

When Nonna gives us lemons…. we make Lemon Ricotta Biscuits!

This recipe is super easy and super lemony. It incorporates both the juice and the zest of freshly picked lemons from the garden. We find that garden lemons tend to be firmer, which means it you can usually get more of the flavoursome rind when grating them.

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We’ve used our new Smooth Ricotta in this recipe, which is such a fantastic ingredient for baking. Its smooth texture incorporates other ingredients well and its mild, milky flavour allows the lemon be the star.

The recipe is below, and found in our recipe database here.

Biscotti (biscuits)

  • 500g La Casa Del Formaggio Smooth Ricotta
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 250g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon

La Glassa (glaze)

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon

 

Biscotti

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy in texture. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Next add the Ricotta, lemon juice and lemon zest, beating until combined. Stir in dry ingredients with a large wooden spoon. Add additional flour if needed.

Refrigerate dough to slightly harden so that it can be easily rolled into balls.

Line baking sheet with baking paper. Spoon out one-tablespoon rounds of dough and roll into balls. Place balls onto the tray, leaving room for biscuit to spread. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden on edges. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes but do not cool completely as biscuits should still be warm when glaze is added.

Glassa

Combine icing sugar, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and stir until smooth.  Add more sugar or lemon juice if needed to get the balance to your liking. Spoon a teaspoon of glaze onto each biscuit while still warm and spread across top of biscuit.

Allow glaze to harden prior to serve.

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