Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chocolate Pavlova

And now for something completely different! That picturesque beauty you see above is a Pavlova, a dessert created in either New Zealand or Australia (there has been some debate as to the actual country of origin) in honor of the Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavolva. It's a meringue-based cake with a crispy shell and a soft, airy interior, and I topped mine with homemade whipped cream, nectarine puree, strawberry, kiwi, and mini chocolate chips.

If you're going to attempt this recipe, you absolutely MUST have a stand mixer, otherwise whipping up meringue could take an exceedingly long time. It also turns out that I'm a bit on the clumsy side when it comes to separating egg whites from their yolk, and I wasted more than a few eggs in failed attempts here. What I'm saying is, make sure you've got some spare eggs available just in case.

As a side note, I've been having some computer issues lately, so I'm posting this from my tablet. There could be some formatting issues, so just bear with me while I get it all ironed out.

Recipe adapted from Cookstr

Difficulty: Moderate
Active Prep Time: About 30 minutes
Total Prep Time: 2 hours
Special Equipment: Stand Mixer, Food Processor or blender
Serves: 6 - 8


  • 6 large egg whites, room temp
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 6 strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
  • 1 nectarine, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 3 teaspoons mini chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Carefully separate the egg whites from their yolk. Pour the egg whites and a pinch of salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.

3. Using the whisking attachment, mix at high speed for about 3-5 minutes, or until soft peaks begin to form.

4. With the mixer still running, start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until fully blended. Mixture should be smooth, not grainy.

5. Add the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.

6.  Lay out a baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Scoop the meringue onto the pan in the shape of a circle.

7. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 275 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Should be cracked and crispy when it comes out of the oven.

8. While the cake cools, slice up your strawberries and kiwi, and puree the nectarine in a food processor.

9. Using the stand mixer once again, whip the heavy cream and confectioners sugar together until it forms soft peaks.

10. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the meringue.

11. Pour the nectarine puree over the whipped cream.

12. Arrange the slices of kiwi and strawberry on top, then sprinkle on chocolate chips. 

Additional Notes:

As delicious as this Pavlova is, it doesn't last for very long once you've assembled it. It's best eaten as soon as it's ready, and to a large enough group that you won't have to worry about leftovers.

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