Chocolate Pavlova with Whipped Cream and Winter Fruits

Chocolate Pavlova with Winter Fruits

November stormed in with a chip on her shoulder and brought a gale that toppled trees and ripped the roof of a business in the neighborhood.

We watched from the windows as gusts of wind effortlessly whipped neatly raked piles of leaves up in the air and tore branches off the trees in the back yard. The storm caused power outages over a broad area which left us in the cold for thirty long hours.

It wasn’t so bad, that first night without electricity. We brought our jack-o-lantern into the kitchen and I prepared ham and cheese sandwiches by its flickering light, which we grilled on the barbecue at dusk. We lit candles, sipped wine, and then turned in early for the night.

But the next 12 hours brought numb fingers, a shortage of morning coffee, and worry about the stash of summer produce in the deep freezer. In the end we made an investment in our homestead – a shiny orange Subaru generator – which sustained our fridge and freezer for the duration of the outage.

We got invited out for a lasagna feast on Saturday night, and I took care of dessert, thanks to a chocolate meringue I had baked off the day before. Turns out one can have a decadent dessert when absolutely nothing is functioning in the kitchen.

Chocolate Pavlova with Whipped Cream and Winter Fruits on www.simplebites.net #dessert #holiday

I whipped my cream by hand, raided the fruit bowl for citrus and pomegranates and assembled a dessert in a few minutes, despite my cold fingers!  Finally, I snapped a few photos, after realizing that although I am coming up on four years of blogging, I have yet to share a pavlova recipe on this space.

Adapted from the lovely new cookbook, Wintersweet: Seasonal Desserts to Warm the Home, this airy-fairy dessert will woo you with its combination of tart and sweet, creamy and crunchy. The chocolate meringue is completely decadent and provided the perfect ‘bowl’ for the fruit and cream.

To balance the sweetness of the meringue, I folded a little yogurt into the whipped cream – a simple trick to both cut the fat and give a hint of tang. Try it!

Chocolate Pavlova with Whipped Cream and Winter Fruits on www.simplebites.net #dessert #holiday

I probably don’t have to point out that this would make a stunning dessert for any holiday table, be it the upcoming US Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Feel free to experiment with any winter fruits you have on hand – persimmons, poached quince, kiwi or roasted apples would all be suitable.

And I can’t help but wonder how it would taste filled with Orange Cardamom Curd and then topped with whipped cream. I think that needs to be the next combination on the recipe testing list.

Chocolate Pavlova with Winter Fruits
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Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 8
Adapted from the lovely new cookbook, Wintersweet, this airy-fairy dessert will woo you with its balance of tart and sweet, creamy and crunchy.
Ingredients
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • segments of 2 oranges
  • segments of 2 clementines
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until they form stiff peaks, about 4-6 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the sugar in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder until is is finely ground.
  3. With the mixer still running, add the sugar to the egg whites, a few tablespoons at a time until it is all incorporated. Beat the meringue for another 4-6 minutes until it is shiny and dense.
  4. Remove the beater from the bowl and sift the cocoa and cornstarch on top. Add the vinegar and fold everything together with a spatula until the cocoa is completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer the meringue to the parchment paper and spread it around to make an 8-inch circle. Place in the oven and lower the temperature to 300F. Bake meringue for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then turn off oven and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven with the door propped open.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours in advance.
  7. To serve: Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in the yogurt and the honey. Mound the cream in the center of the meringue and arrange fruit around and on the cream. Serve immediately.

Wintersweet author Tammy Donroe is really onto something and I’m smitten with her cookbook.  While this first recipe didn’t quite ‘warm the home’ as the title promises, I doubt a power outage is fair conditions for testing that theory!

This truly is the best time to be baking in the kitchen and I’ve bookmarked her applesauce cake and squash pie to make soon. November, you can blow as much as you like.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. Gorgeous desert – I love your addition of colourful winter fruits! Also, I grabbed a copy of this book two weeks ago at my local bookstore and I adore it.

  2. What a gorgeous dessert, Aimee!! And it’s chocolate, too!! :)
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective’s last post: Baked Brie Bites

  3. This looks delicious! Good call on the generator. My parents bought a generator before the big storms a few winters ago, and it saved our deep freezer full of their painstakingly grown and frozen summer produce. Always good to have a backup :)
    Lauren’s last post: Keema Matar with Garlic Naan

  4. We love pavlova, ever since we first tried it in New Zealand five years ago, piled with kiwi fruit and whipped cream. This chocolate rendition looks pretty amazing, any pavlova is a welcome addition to the table.

    Glad to hear you guys weathered the storm alright. We might be in Montreal in December for more violin classes.

    • This was my first chocolate pavlova and I have to say, it’s special. This one feels really festive, too.

      Have B shoot me an email with your dates if you do come into town. We’d love to see you. Montreal really turns on the charm for Christmas. :)

  5. We are big fans of pav in this household after spending some months in New Zealand and tasting several different versions of it. It’s become our Christmas dessert and I think a chocolate version sounds great for this year.
    Glad to hear you guys have heat and power again!
    Breanne’s last post: 43/52

  6. Beautiful dessert!
    Maria’s last post: Pumpkin Toffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

  7. I love that it’s chocolate! This looks great :)
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar’s last post: Butternut Squash Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Glaze {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}

  8. I have not tried a chocolate pavlova yet and this one looks amazing!
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking’s last post: 20 Apple-icious Recipes

  9. Pinned to my Sweet Dreams board & this pavlova sure is dreamy!

  10. Oh man, having no heat just brings shivers down my spine and goosebumps! I’m glad you’re all ok now. This pavlova looks beautiful and what a gorgeous dessert centerpiece this would be!
    Julie @ Table for Two’s last post: Poblano Potato Gratin

  11. So lovely, Aimee. I love the winter fruits you used
    naomi’s last post: Banana-Coconut Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel

  12. We just had a terrible storm this weekend too!! BUt this pavlova would help me to sweeten the bummer of this weather change :)

  13. You may not have shared a pavlova recipe on SB until now, but I remember the one on UtHC-the cranberry one. I remember b/c I made one around the same time. That one was good-but chocolate always makes things better.

  14. What an experience! Sandwiches by jack-o-lantern light sounds fun though! :) Good thing you invested in a generator… We should too, although our outage due to the wind was only about 6 hours.

  15. such a show stopper!

  16. Love chocolate pavlovas! They are such a good take on a classic, plus I don’t think you can ever go wrong with chocolate.

  17. This dessert is so beautiful! I’ve never heard of a Pavlova before…something new and adventurous for me to try!

  18. This is beautiful, I am betting that it is seriously delicious! You’ve got my mouthwatering over here ;)
    Nutmeg Nanny’s last post: Apple and Nut Stuffed Acorn Squash

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