Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chocolate Pavlova

My dad is from Down Under. Growing up I heard words like petrol and friends loved my dad's accent. Though we never had shrimp on the barbie, we did have fruit cake, plum pudding and pavlova. I am still trying to acquire a taste for fruit cake and plum pudding. Pavlova was an easy instant love. It's originally from New Zealand. The base is a meringue that is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It's topped with whipped cream and fruit. And it's delicious.

My piece of pavlova
Pavlova is a little tricky to make. I remember my father being frustrated and throwing out ruined pavlovas. He says now that he has it figured out. A few years ago I found this recipe for chocolate pavlova and made it for my dad. Chocolate is a nice addition. I made it again for his birthday a few weeks ago. I too find that I am still working out the kinks in the recipe. After the holidays, we had some left over whipping cream. Chocolate pavlova seemed like the perfect dessert on Saturday. We topped ours with blueberries and mango. Needless to say, there were no leftovers. Especially after parent-only second dessert.

Chocolate Pavlova

1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature (from 3 to 4 eggs - do not use liquid egg whites)
1/8 tsp of each salt and cream of tartar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp of sugar
1 1/2 tsp each cornstarch and vanilla
1 tbsp raspberry or red wine vinegar (used regular)
1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder, sifted (used Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa)
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup strawberries, ripe mango, kiwi fruit, whole raspberries or blueberries (or a combo)

1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a mixer whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until foamy with whisk attachment.

Room temperature egg whites
2. Add 1 cup of sugar, the cornstarch, vinegar, sifted cocoa, and vanilla. Continue whipping until stiff, smooth and glossy, and then for 5 minutes more. Really, go fold some laundry and come back.

After the eggs are foamy add yummy stuff
A load of dishes later

3. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a pizza pan. Use a pencil and a pie pan to draw a 9 inch diameter circle on the paper. Flip the paper over (you can still see the circle) and spoon the egg whites into the circle with a spatula. Spread it to the edge of the circle, making waves and swirls on the top surface.

Oven ready
4. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 300 F. Bake the meringue for about 45 minutes more until it has puffed up and cracked on the top.

5. Turn off the oven and prop open the door. Let the meringue cool in the oven to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The meringue can be held at room temperature for up to 10 hours before serving.

Out of the oven
6. When you are ready to serve, whip the cream with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar. Place the meringue on a serving dish and pile the cream on top. Spread it within 1/2 inch of the edge and arrange the fruit on top of the cream.

Enjoy! We sure did.
Decorated with whipped cream, blueberries and mangoes


  1. Yum yum yum!!! I have never tried a meringue! I am not sure how I would make that vegan, but damn, this looks sooooo good :)

    1. It was super yummy. Thanks :) Do egg replaces whip up? That's an experiment.