Crisp pavlova with a marshmallowy interior topped with easy-as-pie chocolate cream and fresh strawberries sounds pretty good right now, doesn’t it?
There are times in life when you need to pull out the big guns and give it all you’ve got and most often for me, that means cooking something spectacular, impressive and drop dead delicious. But listen, I’m still me and I don’t like spending more time in the kitchen than is absolutely necessary so I look for shortcuts. That’s when I came up with the idea for this chocolate cream. Now, if you are in a hurry and you don’t really care for chocolate (who are you even?!), you could of course make this with simple sweetened whipped cream and call it a day. It’s still going to taste absolutely awesome. But if you want to go that extra mile, this chocolate cream is the bomb. It’s the small details that elevate things we are accustomed to to new heights and it doesn’t always have to require a boat-load of work or genius ideas, although, that of course helps.
What I love most about pavlova is all the contrasting textures. The crisp case of the pavlova gives way to a soft, marshmallowy interior. The soft clouds of whipped cream add to the lusciousness and then you get the sharp bite of the strawberries. I mean, can you even? Now I know everyone has their own way with meringues/pavlova but I always like to add a little cornstarch and vinegar to mine. I don’t actually know if it does anything but my meringues/pavlova are always soft and squidgy on the inside and that’s the way I like it. If you like crispier meringues, simply bake them for a little longer to dry them out more.
This pavlova will also be fab topped with raspberries but I would stick to those two if you’re going the chocolate cream route. After all, there’s nothing like red berries and chocolate, right? And if you’re looking to impress, nothing will do so more than this pavlova recipe. Topped with its mountain of fresh strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar it is worthy of any celebration.
- 6 extra large egg whites
- 300g (approx 1½ cups) caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour/corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250ml heavy/whipping cream
- 100g (4oz) dark chocolate
- fresh strawberries
- icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°c and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage.
- Slowly, and while continuing to whisk, add the sugar until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
- Fold in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract.
- Dollop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet and shape to form a round Pavlova.
- Place in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 100°c.
- Bake the pavlova for 1 hour and then switch the oven off and allow it to cool completely in the oven. This will result in a crisp crust and soft interior.
- minutes before you are ready to serve, melt the dark chocolate and allow to cool.
- Beat the cream until thick (must be able to hold a peak) then fold in the melted chocolate. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes.
- Top the Pavlova with the chilled chocolate cream and strawberries. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
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