What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert? A Strawberry Pavlova! It’s elegant, yet inexpensive.
A Pavlova is a cousin to a macaron: slightly crunchy on the outside and marshmallowy goodness on the inside. And it’s easy to make!
Top with sweetened whipped cream, then beautiful fresh fruit, and drizzle all with melted dark chocolate. Yummy and gorgeous!
For the chocolate sauce, just melt some bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips). You can do this in the microwave a few minutes before serving. Use a spoon to drizzle over all. You can even use unsweetened baking chocolate for this as the rest of the dessert is so sweet.
You can use a fruit-based sauce if you like instead. Cut strawberries and mix with sugar at least an hour beforehand. It will make a beautiful red strawberry sauce you can use to drizzle over all. It’s beautiful and totally easy to make. I wouldn’t used the berries leftover from this to put in the Pavlova as they would be overly sweet. The meringue nests are already sweet like marshmallows, so you need something less sweet for the fruit.
Other red and pink fruit can be mixed in with the strawberries or used on their own. Raspberries and pomegranate seeds are beautiful on Pavlova too!
From wikipedia: “Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Ánna Pávlova. . . . The dessert is believed to have been created to honour the dancer during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries”
This is such an impressive dessert, inexpensive, yet so elegant. I remember my mom making individual Pavlovas for guests with fresh bing cherries on a vanilla pudding instead of whipped cream. Delicious. Kiwi fruit is traditional in New Zealand, since it’s their national fruit. You can use whatever fruit happens to be in season. I’m imagining fresh sliced peaches (drizzled with caramel sauce?). Oh my.
Use a rubber spatula to form higher peaks along the outside of the circle to make it more like a nest. Use the spatula to form swirled peaks to get the look in the top photo.
Allow enough time to let the meringues cool before you add the whipped cream and fruit. Here’s advice from an Australian:
“We always let this dish cool in the oven – just turn the oven off at the end of the cooking time and leave it there (even overnight!). For those who have found that it sometimes sticks, in Australia we would coat the paper with a thin dusting of corn starch before spooning the mix onto the baking tray.”
Here is the basic Pavlova recipe at AllRecipes that works every time to make a perfect Pavlova. You can cheat a little bit by using whipped cream that comes in a pressurized can (like Reddi-Whip). I like using that myself.
This is such a wonderful recipe and it’s not difficult to do. Where else can you find such an elegant dessert that is affordable and easy to make? Make this one of your trademark recipes–you’ll be glad you did!
And here is a chocolate pavlova that is very yummy: