Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

by Elizabeth Atia -

Succulent Shetland strawberries have been ripening in gardens around the islands over these last few weeks. If you are lucky you might have had the chance to try the Yell strawberries which, I am convinced, are the best strawberries on the planet.

Although Shetland strawberries need nothing to enhance them as they are already so lovely, this chocolate strawberry pavlova is a nice way to serve fresh strawberries for a summer garden party or barbecue.

For this dessert, ripe strawberries are dipped in melted dark chocolate before being sprinkled with coarse sugar and piled in a tower atop a bed of meringue and fluffy sweetened whipped cream.

This recipe was originally made (and photographed) using some Shetland rhubarb and saffron sugar I'd made to decorate a rhubarb and saffron yogurt cake earlier on in the year. I'd discovered that the leftover coarse sugar went really well with fresh strawberries and they stuck even better to the strawberry with the assistance of dark melted chocolate.

Chocolate makes everything better, no?

To make it even easier I've adapted the recipe to use crushed sugar cubes instead of the rhubarb saffron sugar. This impressive pudding takes no time to whip up, the only time consuming bit is waiting for the meringue to cook and cool. Don't try and rush the meringue as you'll end up with a cracked one, but if it does crack it's not the end of the world. Just hide the cracks with the whipped cream and pile the chocolate sugar coated strawberries high.

Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

Course: Main

Servings: 6 people

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

For the Meringue
  • Egg whites - 3 large (at room temperature)
  • Caster sugar - 175 grams
For the Strawberries
  • Shetland strawberries - 200 grams
  • Best quality dark chocolate - 100 grams
  • Sugar cubes - 50 grams (crushed)
For the Whipped Cream
  • Whipping Cream - 284 ml
  • Icing Sugar - 1 tbsp
  1. Preheat oven to 140 C and place a silicone mat or baking paper onto a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they start to hold their shape. Do not over-whisk.
  3. Add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until it is all fully incorporated and the meringue is stiff.
  4. Spoon one third of the meringue onto a baking sheet and spread out to form a 15 cm circle. Drop spoonfuls of the meringue around the outside of the circle to form a meringue 'bowl'.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes. Don't open the door to check it! After 60 minutes, switch off the heat, open the oven door and allow the meringue to cool slowly.
  6. Meanwhile, break chocolate into a heat proof bowl and suspend over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted.
  7. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate and place on a silicone mat (or other non-stick surface). Sprinkle each chocolate coated strawberry with crushed sugar cubes. Pop in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.
  8. Whip the cream until it is light and fluffy adding the icing sugar towards the end.
  9. To assemble, gently transfer the meringue to a serving plate. Top with the whipped cream and pile high with strawberries. Serve immediately.
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