This Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries is a PERFECT Valentine’s Day dessert! Layers of crunchy chocolatey marshmallowy meringue, whipped cream and strawberries. So beautiful and delicious.
A Dream Dessert
This chocolate Pavlova is what dessert dreams are made of. Seriously. The chocolate meringue is like a chewy brownie that is made super delicious with whipped cream, strawberry compote and fresh strawberries. Easy to make, and SO delicious.
Pavlovas are MUCH easier to make than you think!
Ever since I made this Eton Mess this past summer, I have been obsessed with meringues. All these years I never made them because I thought they were so hard to make. Turns out they’re not. In fact, Eton Mess and Pavlovas are probably one of my most favourite desserts to make. They make for a showstopper dessert that looks crazy fancy, and it is, but it’s very easy to create. Shhhh, don’t tell your guests. 😉
Chocolate Makes Everything More Delicious!
For Valentine’s Day I wanted to make a different kind of Pavlova. When I think of love day I think chocolate and strawberries, so why not make a Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries? Meringues are so good, and a meringue with chocolate? AMAZING. This dessert is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
All the Hearts for Valentine’s Day
And of course I had to make the meringue heart shaped for Valentine’s Day! This is an easy and really fun little twist to this dessert. The great thing about meringues is how easy it is to shape them into pretty much anything you want. So why not a heart for love day? So cute.
About the Strawberry Topping
I wanted to add fresh strawberries to this Pavlova, but I also wanted a strawberry sauce to go with it. So I added both. To do this I cooked down about 1 cup of fresh strawberries with some raspberries and sugar to make a delicious berry compote. Then I stirred in some chopped fresh strawberries and the result is delightful. A flavourful and sweet sauce with fresh strawberries…it’s the perfect compliment to the chocolate meringue and whipped cream.
Tastes Like a Brownie!
You will be amazed, but the meringue tastes just like a brownie! The centre is chocolatey and chewy and really flavourful…it’s actually pretty amazing how chocolatey it is.
Layers of deliciousness.
Just look at those layers. The brownie-like meringue, whipped cream and berries. It really is as delicious as you might think. This dessert never made it through one sitting. I hope you try this dessert and love it as much as we do!
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS:
- Sugar: This recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar, which I grind to make more fine. BUT If you have caster sugar you can use the same amount of that instead. If you are using regular sugar, put the 1 cup of granulated sugar into a blender and pulse for a few seconds until the sugar is fine.
- Eggs: Make sure you don’t get any yolk mixed in with the egg whites. The yolks will inhibit the whipping.
- Cocoa Powder: Make sure to sift the 3 tbsp of cocoa powder so that you don’t end up with any little balls of cocoa in your meringue.
- Whipping Cream: Use heavy whipping cream.
- Strawberries: I like to use fresh strawberries for this recipe. I cook half into a sauce, and add half fresh for a nice sweet crunch.
- Raspberries: You can use fresh or frozen.
- Garnish: I like to sprinkle on some grated white chocolate as a garnish.
PAVLOVA RECIPE TIPS:
- Sugar: Make sure to use fine sugar (not confectioner’s sugar. Use either ground granulated sugar or Caster sugar). Sugar that isn’t fine can cause the meringue not to whip up properly, and can also create weeping. See the sugar tips above.
- Let the meringue cool completely before you assemble the dessert.
- Cracking: Don’t worry about cracking, Pavlovas are NOT perfect. Don’t let anyone tell you they are. The very delicate nature of the ingredients makes cracking pretty much inevitable. And you’re going to be covering the meringue with whipped cream and fruit, so you won’t see most of the cracks anyway! And if this heart breaks, then you can call it a Broken Heart Pavlova 😉
- Make Ahead Tips: You can make the pavlova meringue and whipped cream ahead of time, even a day or 2 ahead. Just leave your Pavlova unassembled…assemble everything when you’re ready to serve it!
- Assembly: Even though Pavlovas are pretty robust and can actually be assembled hours ahead, I like to do this one right before I serve it. This is because the strawberry sauce has the potential to make the meringue soggy.
- Leftovers: If you have leftovers, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1 – 2 days. The leftovers will be soft, and the meringue won’t be as crunchy, but it is still delicious.
Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar ground (or Caster sugar – see notes)
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 6 large egg whites
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder sifted
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 cups strawberries divided into 2
- 3/4 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 cups of whipped cream
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp grated white chocolate
Making the Pavlova:
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- Sugar: This recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar, which needs to be ground to make more it fine. To do this I put 1 cup of granulated sugar into a blender and pulse it for a few seconds until the sugar is fine. (If you have caster sugar you can use the same amount of that instead.)
- Then, in a small bowl whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, whip the egg whites until they are foamy with stiff peaks.
- Then while the egg whites are still whipping, gradually add the sugar/cornstarch mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture becomes glossy and forms stiff peaks. The texture will be kind of like stiff shaving foam.
- Then sprinkle the mixture with the vinegar and cocoa powder.
- Using a spatula, mix it together.
- Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Then using a spoon, add big spoonfuls of the meringue onto the sheet in the shape of a heart. To make the heart, I start at the top of the heart, adding 2 big scoops for the top bumps, then work your way down. The meringue should be at least 2 inches thick.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the pavlova meringue has slight cracking and appears dry.
- Let it cool completely before adding the whipping cream and strawberries.
- While the pavlova is baking you can make the strawberry sauce.
- Cut the strawberries into 4. Then set aside half of them. You are going to leave 1/2 fresh, and 1/2 are going into the sauce.
- In a small saucepan add 1/2 of the chopped strawberries, the raspberries, 1 tbsp water and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix well.
- Simmer over low heat until the fruit is slightly cooked down and the sauce is the consistency of syrup. This takes about 15 minutes.
- Set aside to cool.
- Then stir in the remaining fresh strawberries.
- Using a mixer whip the whipping cream and vanilla until it is fluffy.
- Note: I do not add sugar to this whipped cream because the pavlova and the berries are sweet enough. The unsweetened whipped cream is a nice balance to all the sweetness.
Putting it all together:
- Once the pavlova has cooled, top it with the whipped cream...be careful not to spread it too hard or the meringue will crack or crumble.
- Then add the strawberry sauce.
- Sprinkle with the grated white chocolate.
More Valentine’s Day Treats
If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day treat ideas, be sure to check out these delicious ideas before you go!
Valentine’s Day Oreo Truffles from Clean and Scentsible
Red Velvet Cookies from Baked By Blair
White Chocolate Peppermint Hearts from The Handmade Home
Have a delicious day!