Chocolate Baileys & Apricot Amaretto Pavlovas

Ok this is my last sugary indulgence post for a really long time, I promise! I allowed my low-sugar rules to lapse completely between Thanksgiving and New Year so I could indulge in traditional cooking (and eating) over the holidays. I knew it was only temporary so I made sure I allowed myself all of my favorite things, and as much as I wanted, so I would have no regrets when it was time to switch back to a healthier diet. It worked, I do feel like I satisfied all my sweet cravings and I’m actually looking forward to returning to normal. I’ve got to share this last dessert recipe with you first though.

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My friend hosted a New Year’s Eve potluck and she asked me to provide the dessert. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige and immediately started working out what it would be. It needed to be gluten-free, relatively easy to transport, appropriate to a sit-down meal for a fancy occasion, and I always like to make sure there are different options to suit different tastes.

My initial thought was this apricot almond macaron layer cake which I’ve made a couple of times before and is completely delicious. My other idea was a variation on this pavlova recipe which I’ve made before with raspberries. In the end I settled on a sort of cross between the two, and decided a little booze would be perfect for New Year’s Eve.

I made 10 individual meringue nests according to the instructions in the pavlova recipe and coated half with white chocolate and half with dark chocolate. I then made up 2 different toppings and kept them separate and added them to the meringues just before serving so they wouldn’t go soft or get all messed up during transport.

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For the toppings:

Apricot Amaretto:

  • 4 oz mascarpone
  • 1/2 pint heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto

Chocolate Baileys:

  • 4 oz mascarpone
  • 1/2 pint heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 tbsp Baileys
  • 1 tbsp espresso

In both cases, whisk the cream, mascarpone and liquids together until stiff enough to hold their shape. The Baileys cream will be slightly runnier thanks to its extra spoon of liquid. Spread the apricot compote on the white chocolate meringues, followed by the Amaretto cream. Spread the Baileys mixture on the dark chocolate meringues.

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Both versions were delicious and everyone ended up cutting the meringues in half (quite tricky thanks to the set chocolate on top!) so they could each have a piece of both. The chocolate Baileys version was very sweet and I think if I make it again I’ll put some fresh raspberries or raspberry compote under the cream to add a little tartness. Of course, there’s no need to make both versions at once, that’s just my obsession with providing people options.

I have to apologize for the final pictures, they were taken at the party by candlelight and I’m quite surprised they came out at all!

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