September 18, 2012

Double Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova {Naptime Entertaining}

Double Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova via The Naptime Chef

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday. As most of you know, I am not one to shy away from birthdays. For most of my life I spent nearly the entire year longing for my birthday to come around. As the youngest person of my peer group in school/college/life I was always excited to get a little older, to attain the age and status of those around me. These days I don’t really care so much about getting old, I just view my birthday as a chance to spend a fun night out with my husband and take advantage of the excuse to make myself an awesome homemade cake.

A year ago I went all out with this multi-layer Kahlua cake. It was off the charts. This year I decided to try a new style of cake that was a little more casual and easier to prepare. It was essentially a stacked “cake” of pavlova, berries, and whipped cream. With a cumbersome baby belly it was much easier to layer meringue with cream and berries and scatter it with a generous handful of chocolate shavings than to cool, ice, and decorate several layers of sponge.

The crisp fall air was the perfect temperature for whipping up the crispy chocolate meringue. Everything came together swiftly and simply and it was downright fun to assemble. For dinner my husband treated us to take-out from our favorite restaurant and I took care of the birthday dessert. And, yes, my husband and daughter did sing to me. And baby in my belly did a happy dance.

Recipe

Double Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

Ingredients

6 egg whites
1 ½ cups superfine sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 cups whipped cream (about 1 cup heavy cream whipped with ¼ cup superfine sugar)
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced thin, OR kept whole depending on your preference
2 ounces good quality chocolate (at least 70%) finely chopped

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle on each one. Then flip the paper over so that you can see the circle but the ink won’t touch the food. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer whip the egg whites until just foamy. Then, with the mixer on high add in the sugar a little bit at a time until the sugar is all used up and the whites are glossy and stiff peaks have formed. Use a spatula to carefully fold in the cocoa powder and vinegar.

3. Divide the mixture evenly amongst both baking sheets and spread it into the circles. They don’t have to be perfectly smooth, it is okay to leave little spikes around the edges.

4. Place the meringues in the oven and turn the oven down to 250F. Then bake for 1 hour, to 1 hour 15 minutes. You can tell they are done when the tops are done and beginning to crack. Do not open the oven door while they bake. Once baking is complete turn the oven off and use a wooden spoon to hold the oven door ajar. Allow the pavlovas to cool completely for at least one hour in the oven.

5. To assemble the cake place one pavlova on a cake stand and dollop with half of the whipped cream. Spread half of the berries on top, followed by half of the chocolate. Repeat with a second pavlova and the remaining cream, berries and chocolate. Serve!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

I would normally suggest serving this with prosecco, but this year I enjoyed sparkling water.

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes, 1 hour 15 minutes bake time (plus cooling time)

Naptime Reviews

We all loved this delicious chocolatey, fruity dessert, it was festive, fun and delicious!

 

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