Happy Valentine's Day!

Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut cream1

Ok! I confess, we don't really celebrate this day.

Not because we have some moral issue against the callous commercialism enveloping this day or the fact that everything around you is cloyingly pink or I-am-a-HOT-vampire-I-want-to-draw-your-blood red or because it's too cute and teens-y for a 30 something couple whose anniversary only just went past.

No... It's just that we are lazy!

And yes, all of that above.


I have no problem with dedicating a day to the one you love. In the age of calendars and smart phones, such Block-the-Date ideas are perhaps the needed thing. With all that constant reminders, if you really don't get the point or forget the date, I mean, you really need to make a neuro appointment, stat!

But, I do rebel against the idea of having everything being boxed into that rather stereo typed heart... everything from chocolate truffles filled with overly sweet strawberry juice to cards that overflow with mushyness to the same shaped diamonds!!

C Pavlova-collage

All I really want, is to just say..

I love you.

I thank you for being in my life.

So, dear reader of my blog. That is all I want to say to you!

C Pavlova side

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones!

Continue for the recipe

Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut Creme, Raspberries and Clementines

Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut creamFor the Pavlova
3 large Egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 T Dutch cocoa
1 generous T chopped bitter chocolate
135 g sugar

For the Chestnut Creme
3/4 cup chestnut puree (recipe below)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 pint raspberries
2-3 clementines
3 T bitter chocolate shavings

For the Chestnut Puree
15 roasted or boiled chestnuts, shelled and peeled
3 T butter, room temperature
3 T powdered sugar
3 T cream

Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Process all the chestnut puree ingredients except the cream to all smooth a puree as possible. With the processor on, slowly drizzle in the cream to a fine puree that is almost spreadable. Set aside until ready to use. This can be made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated. Then, bring back to room temperature before using.

Whip the egg whites until frothy and doubled in volume. Slowly, stream in the sugar and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks. Do not over whip. Sift in the cocoa powder and gently fold in. You can either completely mix it or let it streak as I did.

Divide the meringue into two rough circles of about 6 inches each. You can choose to smooth the top or leave it with rustic peaks. Bake for about an hour or hour and fifteen until the edges harden and start to crack. Remove and cool on rack for an hour.

While the pavlova is cooling, whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold in the powdered sugar. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the chestnut puree to loosen it. Add the puree to remaining whipped cream and fold gently to incorporate.

To assemble, spread half the chestnut creme mixture on one pavlova. Arrange half the berries and clementine slices on it. Sprinkle half the chocolate shavings. Top with the second pavlova, remaining creme, fruits and chocolate.

You can serve immediately but I recommend letting it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving to allow the pavlova to get the flavor of the creme and them all to work their magic together.....