I made you a dessert. A magnificent dessert. A dessert with chocolate and cream and tropical fruit. A dessert that will make your heart fill with joy and your mouth cry out for more. A dessert that is impressive to behold yet surprisingly simple to prepare. A dessert that is truly worthy of a holiday meant for love. ♥
If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying a Pavlova before, you’re in for a real treat. This meringue based dessert boasts an airy crisp crust and a chewy, almost marshmallow like center. It’s topped with whipped cream- I infused mine with a bit of fresh squeezed blood orange juice- and piled high with fresh fruits and berries. Pavlova is the perfect dessert to make for the one you love…or to ask the one you love to make for you. It does take a bit of time to prepare because the meringue needs to cook at a low temperature for about an hour and then cool slowly for another hour. But the hands on time is pretty minimal. And I promise…it is totally worth it.
Chocolate Pavlova with Blood Orange Whipped Cream
barley adapted from Fine Cooking
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons blood orange juice, from 1 orange
2 cups fresh fruit and berries ( I used 2 kiwis, 1 mango, 1 blood orange, and about 1/2 a cup of raspberries)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 9 inch circle and place on a baking sheet.
2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or using a large bowl and an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tarter for about 30 seconds on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add 3/4 cup of sugar, cornstarch and vinegar. Raise the speed to medium high and whip for another 3 to 5 minutes or until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks when the beater is raised out of the bowl. With the mixer on low add the sifted cocoa and mix until almost combined. Turn off the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and finish mixing in the cocoa by hand until it is completely incorporated.
3. Slide the meringue out of the bowl and onto the parchment circle. Spread it out so it fills the entire circle and smooth the top a bit. Don’t worry about making it perfectly level, the ridges and bumps will give the finished product character.
4. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 300ºF. Bake for another 45 to 50 minutes until it cracks around the edges and puffs in the middle. Turn off the oven and open the door a crack. Leave the meringue in the oven to cool for 45-60 minutes. The slower it cools the less it will collapse in the middle. You can make the meringue the day before you plan on serving it and leave it in the oven to cool overnight.
5. Right before serving beat the heavy cream, blood orange juice, and remaining two tablespoons of sugar in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Mound the whipped cream on the meringue and spread it almost to the edge. Top with fresh fruit and serve immediately.