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Chocolate Pavlova | A chocolate meringue topped with mascarpone cream and luscious strawberries

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Pavlova

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Strawberry Topped Chocolate Pavlova with mascarpone cream and sweet, ripe strawberries will thrill whoever gets to taste a slice! 

The crisp meringue shell with a marshmallow interior is the delicious base for berries and cream!

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Pavlova - A chocolate meringue topped with mascarpone cream and luscious strawberries

My First Pavlova

Sometimes the best recipes come from a place in the heart. I’ve been reflecting on how my mom inspired me. It was more by example than anything. She put her family first. She filled our home with art and music. I loved falling to sleep with the echoes of Bach rising through the rafters. Her love of food and a beautiful plate was a huge influence as well.

Our dining room table always had a beautiful tablecloth and a hodgepodge of candles that were lit even for a weeknight dinner. Milk went into a pitcher and she made sure our meal was colorful. You’d never see white cauliflower served with pale mashed potatoes and a gray slice of pork loin. She remained an artist in all aspects of her life.

She made us pavlova before I ever knew the culinary term. It was a large meringue covered with lemon curd and whipped topping. There was always a second pavlova hidden away in the deep freeze. My three sisters and I were never scolded for helping ourselves to the spare.

Mom in the kitchen

The Melding of Families

In a way, Bill and I were raised in similar households–strong Catholic families, siblings, loving parents with over 100 years of marriage between the two couples, and Midwest values. But when it came to food, we were night and day.

At the hubby’s childhood home, it was always meat and potatoes, and pizza was a snack, not a meal. His dad liked ordinary vegetables: peas, corn, green beans, and carrots. My dad would eat nearly anything (but had nightmares about his mom’s oxtail soup), and my mom loved experimenting with ethnic dishes like baklava, moussaka, paella, matzo ball soup, profiteroles, and egg rolls.

But there was one dessert where our worlds intersected: meringues. It took me a while to decipher his memories of “sham-tortes,” which ended up being plain ol’ meringues topped with fruit and cream. And then you have my mom’s lemon on a cloud creation.

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Pavlova overhead shot on a ruffled white cake plate

 

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Pavlova

The first pavlova I ever made was chocolate. I added some cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate to the meringue, then topped the crispy shell with a heavenly cloud of whipped cream and loads of ripe red raspberries. The family was instantly smitten.

The recipe morphed. Any kind of berries was fair game. And then I added some mascarpone to the cream topping. It was now even more swoon-worthy. When I hit the market this week, the raspberries were sad and pale, but the strawberries were luscious and fragrant. A strawberry topped chocolate pavlova would be on our menu. Another winner!

Chocolate Pavlova - A chocolate meringue topped with mascarpone cream and luscious strawberries

Tips for a Perfect Pavlova

  • Your egg whites must be at room temperature for the best volume.
  • Your bowl and beaters must be scrupulously clean. Any speck of oil will prevent the whites from beating properly.
  • In the same vein, there must be no egg yolk in the whites. The fat in the egg yolk will also prevent the whites from beating properly.
  • Use superfine sugar to help the sugar dissolve into the whites. You can make your own by whizzing regular, granulated sugar in a food processor.
  • Do not overbeat your egg whites (they should never look dry) or your pavlova will crack.
  • After the hour of baking, turn off oven, open the door, and let the meringue cool off in the oven.

More Pavlova Recipes You’ll Love:

Used in This Recipe:

Chocolate Pavlova

Chocolate Pavlova

A large cocoa meringue topped with whipped mascarpone cream and sliced ripe strawberries

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (I whiz granulated sugar in the food processor for a minute or so)
  • 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry or balsamic vinegar (I used black currant balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Mascarpone cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries, gently tossed with a tablespoon of sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch circle on parchment, the flip the paper over. Set aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form. Add salt, then slowly add the sugar, while continuing to beat, until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sift cocoa powder over the meringue, then add vinegar, vanilla and chopped chocolate. Fold well till combined.
  3. Pile the meringue onto the baking sheet, keeping within the 9-inch circle. Smooth top and edges with an offset spatula. Place in oven and immediately decrease temperature to 300º. Bake for 1-1¼ hours till dry on edges and top. Pavlova will appear cracked. Turn off oven, open oven door, and allow to cool completely.
  4. To serve, carefully flip onto serving plate. Whip cream with powdered sugar, vanilla. Fold in mascarpone. Top pavlova with whipped cream, then sliced strawberries.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 45gProtein: 5g
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52 comments on “Strawberry Topped Chocolate Pavlova”

  1. This looks lovely! And I love to hear your family history! So intriguing!

  2. Ok, that’s it. I NEED to try a pavlova this year!

  3. I agree — the best recipes come from the heart! Thank you for sharing this delightful treat with all of us!

  4. Help? What’s the trick? The first few times I made this recipe, it turned out the perfect shape and thickness. Looked and tasted ou of this world. This year I can’t for the life of me figure out why it spreads out to the size of a large pizza!! 4 times it’s happened. Still chewy on the inside and tastes good but i can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I add superfine sugar, large spoon full at a time allowing to incorporate in between. Never seem to lose at least some grainy feel to final egg white mixture. It’s thick and glossy. Piles up easily on parchment (4″ high perhaps, 8-9″ wide). Start at 375, reduce to 300. 1 1/4 hours later, its near flat. I’m using a different “high quality” cocoa, but could that be it? Just used Hershey’s before.

    • Hi, Mary! That sure is puzzling as it sounds like you’re doing everything right. I start at 350, not 375, but again, I don’t think that should cause a collapse. My only suggestion would be to make sure your egg whites are at room temperature, whiz your superfine sugar in the food processor to make it even finer. That should prevent overbeating which may contribute to the collapse according to this article: http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/2363/complete+guide+to+pavlova
      I hope this helps!

      • It’s a mystery. Thanks for your comments. Whites room temp and sugar is superfine. Read a tip that it could be my balsamic vinegar not acidic enough. Really the only thing I changed was the cocoa. Using Rodelle. May I ask how long you find that you usually have to beat the egg whites once you start you adding sugar ? My final mixture is quite thick but still glossy.

        • This must be so frustrating. I’d say it’s all blended in in maybe 3-4 minutes. I usually put in one tablespoon at a time, but have found I can still feel a few sugar granules if I check, too. Please let me know if you ever figure it out!

  5. very beautiful story and chocolate? thats a delicious change and bonus for this creative recipe!

  6. This looks too good!! I love it!!!

  7. Everyone in my house loved it! Such a gorgeous dessert!

  8. First time making a pavlova- great recipe!

  9. I made this for a friend’s shower and everyone loved it!

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