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Chocolate Pavlova and Happenings

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on June 27, 2010

When things begin to happen, things happen fast. They snowball and explode into beautiful streaming colours. Sometimes, there is no better way to say what’s going on than to just come out and say it. Last weekend was the Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale, and on Friday, an article by the fantastic Catherine Caldwell came out in the Calgary Herald’s Swerve magazine. I wanted you to know. You are what make this happen, and you are what make this all make sense. So thank you. For everything you’ve done and everything you’re doing. It’s impossible to explain what you mean to me.

Also, if that article sent you here, Welcome. Grab a chair, make your self at home and enjoy. Maybe you’ll find something you like!

The bake sale though, I wanted you to see it, to have as much fun as I did. Vincci did an absolutely amazing job. There was an abundant amount of food, from fantastic food bloggers throughout the Calgary area. I had a great time.

Now, before I go on and on about that (this might be a long post. Just warning you now.), there are these pavlovas. They’re for this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge, and also my entry into this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, because these are Dairy-Free too (this month’s theme!). I don’t tend to use one challenge for another, but this is a busy month, and in 3 days, I’ll be gone for just over 3 weeks. I did adapt the recipe though, to be dairy-free as well (or rather, use a different take on the toppings – I hope that’s okay), so I think it counts :).

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

I don’t know where to start with this post – the article, the bake sale, or the pavlovas. All were wonderful. All were delicious (no, I didn’t eat the article, but there was food when I talked with Catherine and there was food when I had my picture taken). You can see the article in Swerve. (One down, two to go 😉 ).

The bake sale was simply awesome. In need of proof? I have that. Lots of that, actually. I brought my camera, took some photos. Not as many as I thought I would, but enough to show you its magic. Most of my photos are from the bake sale’s dawn – in the moments before the doors were opened and people were let into Market Collective (to see everything, not just the bake sale).

This is our fearless leader Vincci. Thank you Vincci for getting all of us together and always being at the bake sale, knowing how much each item cost – and being great company!

These were my brownies. Want some?

Or maybe the rhubarb lemon bundt cake? Yes, I know my packaging wasn’t the prettiest, but it did the job. It also kept any possible gluten out. That’s the most important part.

The whole table. At least it’s appearance at the beginning of Saturday. As things sold out, it all moved around into a lovely evolving pattern. The end closest to you in the photo was all gluten-free. Tarts, Cake, Brownies and more Cake :).

The view from behind the table. There was SO much food. Stacks and stacks of it were behind the table. But, since there were almost 20 of us, that’s what happens!

My purchase. The last (!) of Chelsey‘s Bleeding Heart Tarts. It was absolutely heavenly. Chelsey, you rock. Everyone should make these now. They’re really good.

And now, I want to tell you about the Pavlovas. They were quite lovely. The texture was a cross between a meringue and a brownie and the flavour screamed of hot chocolate. I liked it. I topped them with this coconut cream that I whipped up. It’s not quite a recipe and it’s not a stiff cream, but it’s exactly what I was looking for. Then, on top of all of that, I put a cranberry juice reduction. I might have reduced it just a touch too long, but it added a little bit of tartness and colour to the dish.

It all started with these guys. They were so excited to get some coconut cream that they rumpled the cloth.

They got some coconut cream, then the cranberry juice reduction. It was almost a caramel, a tart cranberryish caramel. It sure tasted lovely though.

The topped Pavlova, in all it’s loveliness. I must have had Chelsey’s Bleeding Heart Tart in mind, as the reduction came out as a heart!

Then, just because I felt like it, I put more coconut cream on top. It made the reduction more of a surprise. Absolutely lovely.

Ahh. Beautiful. Just what you need. Simplicity and flavour at it’s best.

Just like gluten-free, dairy-free doesn’t have to be flavourless or boring. This was absolutely delightful. Thank you so much to Zoe, of Z’s Cup of Tea for getting me to try this way of baking. I didn’t miss the dairy (although, I’m not quite looking to give it up in the near future). Also, Thank you to Dawn for this Daring Baker’s challenge. I will definitely be making Pavlovas again!

I should also mention that since I’m going away in a few days (for a few weeks), I will likely be behind on emails and whatnot, so don’t worry if I don’t reply right away – things are really busy right now and in the near future :).  I hope that you have a great summer though!


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Iris June 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

I wish I had been at that bake sale! I would have bought one of everything! And congrats on the article…big things are coming your way, Lauren! I think we all sense it!

Jordan June 27, 2010 at 10:07 am

Yum! That looks really good :)

Congrats on everything!

cheryl June 27, 2010 at 10:27 am

what fun all around and what lovely bake sale pictures! congrats for the article mention, and I wish I’d tried my pavlovas dairy free

Audax Artifex June 27, 2010 at 10:48 am

I never realised that you lived in Calgary (I lived there for a year a while ago also) and your bake sale looks fabulous and your pavlova creation is to die for all that lovely coconut it would of been exquisite superb effort and the article about you is very very flattering. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz June 27, 2010 at 10:49 am

Awesome event that bake sale. I am getting a sugar rush just looking at the fab pics. Love the coconut cream and cranberry reduc…even if a bit stiff

Valérie June 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

Glad to hear the bake sale went well! Great-looking pavlova, too!

chef_d June 27, 2010 at 11:34 am

Lovely looking table in the bake sale! Your pavlova looks yummy and the flavor combinations sound divine…great job!

Vincci June 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for taking those photos of the bake sale! They’re awesome! And of course, thanks for your treats – they were very popular! That pavlova looks so yummy…

Tracey Mardon June 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Hi Lauren, You’re teaching us all a thing or two about time management! Looks like it was a great sale, beautiful presentation. I sent a woman at P.O. to your blog yesterday as she was standing in the G.F. aisle looking like she was going to burst into tears. What to take when she goes camping with her family this weekend, so she can eat something while they have smores. Have a great holiday, you’ve earned it!

Patri June 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

This month seems to have had all for you! The sale looks fantastic, and your gluten-free pavs look so good! Love coconut, will probably give this a try! :-)

Alpineberry Mary June 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I love the addition of the cranberry reduction. And it’s so pretty too!

Becca June 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Nice job making the challenge dairy free! Love the sound of a coconut cream with the chocolate meringue.

Maggie June 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Best bake sale ever! Wow. Wish I could’ve come. I would’ve bought one of every GF item on the table. Yummy. Your pavlovas looks delish. I think it was soooo smart of you to combine two challenges! You, my girl, are going places. Congrats on the great article in the Herald. Loved it!

Theresa June 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

PAVLOVA! Love it! It’s my favourite dessert and so full to tradition in my house :)
I’ll have to try that recipe though, it looks amazing! Your photos are beautiful!

Aparna June 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm

First of all congratulations on your successful bake sale. I remember your mentioning it on Twitter.
I really liked your gluten-free and diary-free pavlova. Must be a lot lighter than the DB recipe.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite June 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

Congrats on the article, the bake sale and a wonderful dessert! Enjoy your time away!

Nachiketa June 28, 2010 at 11:02 am

Wish I was your neighbour.
Lovely stuff at the bake sale. :)


Alta June 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Congrats, and I LOVE that cranberry reduction idea on your pavlova. Must try that. Yum.

Feng June 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

your pavlova’s look delicious! I bet they went down well at the bake sale!

gfe--gluten free easily June 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Such a fabulous article, Lauren. It captures you perfectly! And, love this pavlova. :-)


Susan June 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

I looked at several of the chocolate pavlova recipes and YOURS caught my eye. I am going to make this tomorrow. I love your whole blog!!! Will be visiting often to look over all your wonderful gluten free desserts. Oh and going dairy free myself. Keep up the great work.

Kim June 30, 2010 at 9:24 am

These look wonderful! And so great about the bake sale – I’m sure your brownies were the hit of the table, the belle of the ball, the bees’ knees, etc etc etc. :) Kim

Lisa July 2, 2010 at 7:43 am

Congrats on the bake sale and your luscious looking brownies. Your pavlova looks beautiful and I cannot stop staring at the photo of the cranberry reduction on the fork. Mouth watering!

Chelsey July 6, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Oh my gosh those pavlovas look to die for. The coconut cream is a nice dairy free addition. With all our bloggy friends going dairy free it’s hard not to feel the tug to do the same. But do I ever LOVE dairy! Luckily I don’t have any issues with it yet.

So glad you liked my tarts! I had to try your bunt cake as was walking to my car. Delicious! Rhubarb is a favorite of mine. I felt so lucky to get one while it was still warm. soo

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free July 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Beautiful, Lauren! I am so impressed. I missed out on the challenge this month – too much travel, not enough free kitchen time.

Must also say I’m quite impressed with your bake sale and your branding. Clever, my dear!

carrie @ July 16, 2010 at 7:29 am

Congrats again Lauren!! :-) And a lovely pavlova!! Just lovely!!

Jennifer @ maple n cornbread July 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

CONGRATS! and wow everything looks so fabulous!!! The cranberry reduction sounds so lovely with the chocolate pavlova!

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