Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TwoFaced Tuesday: Cocoa

"TwoFaced Tuesdays" is a joint venture between CupcakesOMG! and Jenna from The Paleo Project. Each week, we select one secret ingredient and put our own paleo spin on it. You can catch up on the entire series here. Also, if you have any special ingredient requests, you can always tweet us (@MHeraldo and @ThePaleoProject) using the hashtag #TwoFacedTuesday.
To preface, you don't have to eat paleo to enjoy today's TwoFaced recipe (or any of our other recipes, for that matter). If you could give a rat's ass about eating within the confines of any one diet, please skip ahead to the pretty pictures.

This weekend, I coaxed Jenna into featuring cocoa as our secret TwoFaced Tuesday ingredient. 
"I want to make a dessert," I told her. She was all "awesome." And I was all "cool." And then we went on with our lives. But even as I started whipping up my UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS concoction, I couldn't help but feel like I was setting a bad example.

The phrase "paleo dessert" is kind of an oxymoron. After all, the paleo lifestyle is one that supports all things natural, nutrient-dense, and righteous, whereas dessert is pretty much anything that isn't. It's indulgent and makes your thighs jiggle. And while I'm a bajillion percent all about the occassional "paleo-friendly" indulgence, it should still be considered just that: occassional. And also indulgent. And also "paleo-friendly." Because many of my friends are giving the whole paleo thing a go (which is awesome btw), I'm picking up on lots of leeway people are giving themselves in the name of paleo but in the practice of doin'-it-wrong.

What I'm trying to say is that the fundamentals of paleo are this: 
  • Eat meat. Eat tons of meat. 
  • Also, eat veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. Avoid white potatoes and corn, where possible, but just eat lots of veggies.
  • Have a little fruit. One apple and a handful of berries a day at most. It's sweet because it has sugar in it. So don't eat too much of it.
  • Enjoy seeds and nuts, but not too many because they're high in calories and if you eat too much you might shit your pants.
  • PLEASE use healthy, natural fats like olive oil or coconut oil. 
Tell me where on the list you see "eat nut butters, nut flour, and maple syrup like it's your job." Oh you don't see it? THAT'S BECAUSE IT ISN'T THERE!! 

Sorry, I really shouldn't yell, but I don't want y'all to get the wrong idea. Paleo can take many forms, but if you're leaning toward the side that encourages maple syrup and coconut flour on a daily basis, the fact is, you're not eating paleo. However, if you consider these to be only infrequent treats, then by all means, enjoy your paleo cookies, paleo bread, or, the delectable creation I bring you today, paleo chocolate pavlova.

Pavlova is basically a large meringue cookie, made with egg whites and sugar. It's pretty easy to make, but it looks real fancy-like, guaranteeing to impress anyone you serve it to.
To make it more "paleo-friendly", I swapped the white and brown sugars for honey. Then I whipped it with the egg whites until it formed stiff peaks.
This is a stiff peak. That's what she said.
After adding the [unsweetened] cocoa powder to the mixture, I then spread it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Oh, and so that you get it the right shape, you'll trace a bowl on the parchment paper and then flip it over, using the outline as a guide for the pavlova.
After it bakes for a while, you can top it with yummy things like...
...whipped coconut cream...
...and dark-chocolate-covered raspberries (sorry, no link...that recipe should be pretty self-explanatory)...
...and a few dark chocolate shavings.
Ya know, for effect.
The end result is this rich combination of a chocolate souffle and a gooey brownie.
You want a piece of it right now, don't you?
Now, off with yourself to see Jenna's interpretation of cocoa!!

Paleo-Friendly Chocolate Pavlova
Makes about 8 slices

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup honey (Kyle thought it was a bit sweet, so try experimenting with 1/2 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 TBSP good unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 4 oz. high quality dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Using an 8-inch wide bowl, trace the bowl onto a piece of parchment paper. Place it upside down on a rimmed cookie sheet (this will serve as a guideline later). 
  2. Combine eggs whites and honey in a large glass bowl. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler (don't get water in the mixture) and whisk until the honey is completely dissolved in the egg whites and the mixture is slightly warm, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture. Whisk egg whites and honey mixture with a stand or hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes.
  4. Gently fold cocoa into egg whites until mixture is not longer streaky. Don't over mix.
  5. Using an offset spatula or a flat spatula, gently spread out meringue onto the parchment paper, careful not to touch the edge of the circle you traced earlier. The meringue will spread out a bit while it cooks. Make a small well in the center of the pavlova to avoid rising.
  6. Bake until the pavlova is dry to the touch, about an hour. While that's baking, melt the chocolate and dip the raspberries in it. Set in fridge to set.
  7. Let pavlova cool on the parchment on a wired rack for another 30 minutes or so.
  8. Top with whipped coconut cream, chocolate dipped raspberries and shaved dark chocolate.


Laura said...

ummm I might have to invite myself or you to come over and help me make this amazing dessert this weekend. PS I made Banana Pancakes last night for dinner and they were amazing!!! - Laura

Jenna | The Eighty Twenty said...

You did such a good job!!! I'm so proud of you.

VANESSA said...

What the hell that looks good!!!!!!!! Yummmmmmmy!

Xxo! Vanessa (the gal)


whitney said...

holy shittake. this looks amazing.

i want it. now.

Megan | Freckled Italian said...

Yes! I want some! Let's eat it!

Lydia Armstrong said...

I just thought you should know I've had three lollipops and one mini Kit Kat bar today, and I don't plan to stop there.

Michelle said...

This looks DELICIOUSSSS. I'm so excited to make it.

Anonymous said...

OMG, I think I'll have to make that one.

Mo (New on U) said...

Hi! Fellow sponsor of Across the Pond and new follower just stopping in to say hello - and Oh My God does that look good! I looove me some chocolate and fruit.

PS - also huge Jenna Marbles fan (saw her on your about me page)

mirandamoriah said...

This looks amazing! Definitely going to try this for Valentine's Day.

Anonymous said...

YUM!! Who doesn't love chocolate!!

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