Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TWD - Chocolate Coconut Tart / Deconstructed Pavlova / Freezing Eggs

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie we baked Chocolate Cream Tart. I knew after reading the recipe the first time that I'd be making some adjustments. It's a very rich and chocolate-y recipe-chocolate shortbread crust, bittersweet chocolate filling, basically a dark chocolate pudding, whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top. If you are a chocolate lover, I imagine this is a dream dessert. Since I am not a chocolate lover, I wanted to lessen the chocolate presence. Instead of baking this in a tart pan, I made a basic graham cracker crust and baked in a pie pan. I made the filling using semi-sweet chocolate instead of using bittersweet chocolate, and a little less sugar. Also, I used Dorie's recipe and made a small amount of coconut filling, which I mixed with the chocolate filling. For the topping, I used non-dairy whipped topping and toasted coconut-just to lighten things up even more. The pie came out beautifully, and I am saving it for a potluck type thing we are going to. I did taste the filling and it is really good-lots of coconut.

Here is the recipe I used for the coconut filling:
Put 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream and 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cram is reduced by almost half, and is slightly thickened. Cool before using.

With the extra egg whites, I made a deconstructed pavlova. A pavlova is a meringue shell, usually topped with whipped cream and fruit.

This is a pavlova I made earlier-just to give you an idea of what it looks like before being deconstructed. This time, I cooked the whole meringue base, but instead of using it all, I broke it up into pieces so that I could freeze some and have it later. Frankly, we are on dessert overload. I even froze 90% of the amazing chestnut cheesecake for later. So, for my deconstructed version of pavlova, I used some of the merinque, whipped cream (or whipped topping), and blackberries. It was yummy, and very light.

Here's a nice pavlova recipe from allrecipes.com:

4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pint heavy cream
6 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, sweetened if desired. Top whipped cream with kiwifruit slices.
Freezing Eggs:
It seems that lately I've been making a bunch of recipes that call for egg yolks only. To avoid wasting the extra egg whites, I freeze them. I put them in ice cube trays and then take out and defrost just what I need when I need egg whites in a recipe.

Here is an article on freezing eggs, both whites and yolks, from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

For the recipe for the chocolate tart, please visit Scrumptious Photography. Kim is a very talented photographer, so check-out some of her photos.

Here's hoping that the future holds lots of fresh fruit and veggie recipes! I need a produce fix.


  1. YUM! How cool you used up your egg whites. I tend to waste them.

  2. I tend to be a bit obsessive about not wasting food...just a weird thing of mine.


  3. two purrs and a wag/woofApril 28, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    Not wierd, good!
    I love pavlova and haven't had it for ever...did this one have a soft marshmellowy inside?
    It looks so good...and it is from "my" country;-)

  4. Awesome, love how you used the whites too! Thanks for the tips on freezing them!

    We LOVED this cream tart, so awesome. In my top 3 faves!

  5. Looks great! I really want to try the coconut version!

  6. Joy- soft inside and crispy outside!

    Thanks Amanda! I'm so glad you loved the tart.

    Cristine- Thank you!

  7. They both look terrific. I am jealous of your whipped cream, looks dreamy, I think I overwhipped mine.

  8. I agree this one looks delicious, although I am not a big chocolate dessert person. I prefer my chocolate in candy. :)

  9. soft inside? be still my heart.....yum yum yum....you are clever!

  10. Adding the coconut to the tart sounds delicious! I've got a collection of egg whites in the freezer, so I may need to try a pavolva the next time I find some nice fresh fruit.

  11. The tart looks wonderful and I hope you and everyone enjoyed it. Nice work using up the extra egg whites, too.

  12. That looks lovely. I tend to make cinnamon/sugar nuts with my leftover whites.

  13. Your tart looks fantastic! Thanks for the tip on using up the egg whites too. I'm always looking for new ideas.

  14. Thank you Mermaid Sweets!

    Thank you Joy and Sandy! I love 5th Avenue Bars, but they are hard to find.

    Jill- Pavlovas are really easy and you can top them with pretty much any fruit, or even chocolate or custard.

  15. Pamela- thank you!

    Jules- I love coated nuts and cinnamon -sugar is a great idea!

  16. It's so interesting to learn new things over here from these kinds of posts! Everything looks so beautiful.

  17. Looks like your tweaks resulted in a fabulous dessert! I especially like a pavlova and think they aren't as popular as they should be. Great tip on freezing the leftover egg whites. I usually make an egg white omelette for dinner or some meringues, but this is easier!

  18. I agree! Pavlovas are not popualar in the US, but they should be. Especially in the summer, with all the fresh fruit. If non-dairy topping is used instead of whipped cream, it's a fairly low-cal dessert.

  19. That looks fantastic. Great idea to freeze the whites. I have seen that done in ice trays.

  20. low cal topping is a great idea, the reason i never make it any more.
    I used to make pavlova with banana, strawberries and passionfruit.

  21. komodo- I love that you use passionfruit! What a great idea!