Have you tried Pavlova? It looks difficult, but it’s really very easy to make.
This Pavlova is a beautiful confection of chocolate, soft marshmallow center, whipped cream, fresh strawberries, drizzled chocolate, and chocolate curls. Heavenly.
It’s fairly inexpensive to make even thought it looks expensive. It’s a wonderful surprise for your mom on Mother’s Day or anytime you want a dessert that will impress.
Make the meringue base the day before and add all the rest of the goodies right before serving. So wonderful and just beautiful.
Triple Chocolate Pavlova with Fresh Strawberries
Adapted from a recipe of Nigella’s at Food Network.
- 2 cups superfine sugar (Click here for directions at AboutCandy to make superfine sugar from regular granulated sugar and a food processor.)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vinegar, any kind
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (the darker the chocolate the better)
- 6 large egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees–very important to do this first.
- Line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat the egg white in a mixer at high speed until satiny peaks form.
- Beat in the superfine sugar a spoonful at a time into the egg white mixture. It should become a stiff and shiny meringue.
- Top the meringue with the cocoa powder, vinegar, and chopped chocolate.
- Gently fold these into the meringue using a rubber spatula. Do not over-mix; just mix enough so that the cocoa powder is well distributed.
- Put a dab of meringue under each corner of the parchment paper.
- Dust the top of the parchment paper with cornstarch.
- Put the rest of the meringue mixture on top of the center of the parchment paper. Using the rubber spatula swirl the meringue mixture around to form a circular “nest.” Make it approximately the size of a circular layer of cake.
- Put the meringue in the pre-heated oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes. It’s done when the top looks dry and has a crust. Under the crust is like melted marshmallow, so don’t use that to judge it it’s done or not.
- Leave the meringue in the oven, but turn off the temperature. Keep the oven door open the minimum amount and let the meringue cool in the oven this way.
- When it’s completely cool, invert onto a plate and peel off the parchment paper. (If it slides easily from the paper to a plate you don’t have to invert it.)
- Store lightly covered with waxed paper in a dry place–not the refrigerator. You can even leave it in the cold oven overnight with no cover.
Assemble the Pavlova:
- Squirt whipped cream from a can (like Reddi-Whip) on top of the room temperature meringue.
- Wash and dry about 2-4 cups of strawberries. Remove stems from the berries.
- Arrange the strawberries on top of the whipped cream. You can use other fresh fruits and combinations of different fruits if you like.
- Use a vegetable peeler to make curls of chocolate from the side of a dark chocolate chocolate bar. Make as many curls as look nice without hiding the strawberries.
- Arrange the chocolate curls on top of the strawberries.
- Optional: Melt the rest of the chocolate bar in the microwave on medium power until just melted. (Stir often to check.) When melted, drizzle chocolate with a spoon artfully over the Pavlova. Use thin drizzles for the prettiest look, again not covering the pretty color of the fruit too much.
- Bring entire Pavlova to the table for everyone to admire. Cut individual servings there. It should make 8-10 servings.