Gluten-free Espresso Pavlova

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Enjoy this fluffy, light, and caffeine-laced pavlova that’s safe to share with anyone — even with people who can’t have gluten.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
Assembly time: 10 minutes
Serves 12

INGREDIENTS
For the Meringue
8 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
2 pinches fine espresso coffee powder

For the Coffee Toppings
2 cups whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons fine and strong espresso coffee powder
1 can dark pitted cherries in syrup
1⁄4 cup walnuts, oven- roasted for 20 minutes and chopped
1⁄4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dark chocolate shavings

PROCEDURE
For the Meringue
1 Preheat oven to 420F or 200C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment or baking paper. Then, trace an 8-inch pan in the middle of each. Invert paper.
2 Whip egg whites on a clean, grease-free, stainless bowl for about 5 minutes, until soft peaks form. pour sugar gradually onto the egg whites and whip until stiff peaks form. mix in vanilla extract.
3 Fold in cocoa powder 3 times, not completely incorporating the mixture to leave streaks of brown on white. Divide the mixture, and shape into rounds onto parchment sheet placed on a baking tray.
4 Sprinkle coffee powder on top of each round.
5 Turn down oven heat to 240oF or 120oC. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off oven until it cools. keep meringue inside an airtight container until ready for assembly.

For the Coffee Toppings
1 Pour the chilled whipping cream into a big, cold glass, or stainless bowl. Whip slowly with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Whip for 5 minutes more at medium speed, or until soft peaks form.
2 Pour fine espresso coffee onto whipped cream and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Chill inside refrigerator while preparing to assemble. pour syrup of cherries onto a saucepan, and heat slowly until it thickens.
3 Put a dollop of whipped coffee cream on the cake plate to hold the meringue for assembly. place 1 meringue on the cake plate and put half of the cream on top.
4 Sprinkle on chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, drained cherries, and chocolate shavings. put the other meringue on top, and sprinkle toppings again. pour cool syrup on top of the pile. Then, pile the remaining cherries and chocolate curls on top. use a vegetable peeler to achieve this effect.
5 Serve immediately.

Chef’s Note:
This recipe yields two 8-inch rounds.

Recipe by Chef Nina Camacho

This recipe was originally published in the April-May 2017 issue of Breakfast Magazine.