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Entries in meringue (2)


Chocolate Pavlova Cake with Strawberries and Cream 



   This was a fun cake to make. It looks harder than it actually was. There are a few different parts to it, but they’re all basic and easy.

     The Hershey’s back of the box chocolate cake recipe is tried and true. It’s my go to recipe when I want a chocolate fix.

      Merengue is an easy thing to master as long as you’re patient with adding the sugar, get the egg whites really stiff, and let it cool slowly in the oven so it holds its shape and doesn’t crack.

     Ganache? Melted chocolate and cream – not hard at all. Strawberries and cream classics with chocolate and meringue.

     Simple, singularly delicious pieces all put together for a #GBBO inspired showstopper. Next time I’ll make it three tiers!


For the meringue “crown” 

5 large egg whites

11 oz granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the chocolate cake 

1 cup sugar  

1 ½ cups self rising flour or  

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

1 egg

½ cup buttermilk

¼ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ cup boiling water


For the chocolate ganache

4 oz bittersweet chocolate pieces

¼ cup heavy cream


For the topping

½ cup heavy cream, whipped

1-1 ½ cups sliced strawberries


Make the chocolate cake

     Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and dust with cocoa powder. Combine sugar, flour, and cocoa in a large bowl. Add egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. reduce speed to low, add water (batter will be thin) and pour into pan.

      Bake 25-30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire wrack, remove then cool completely. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Make the meringue “crown”

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Draw a 10-inch circle on one piece of parchment paper. Draw a 6-inch circle on another piece of parchment paper. Place on un-rimmed baking sheets.

     Whisk egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand-mixer until they form soft peaks with the whisk is lifted. Slowly whisk in sugar, a tablespoons at a time until the egg whites become stiff and glossy. Whisk in cornstarch and vinegar.

     Spoon or pipe ½-¾ of the mixture onto the 10-inch circle to form a base. Continue spooning or piping a “wall” of meringue around the edge of the circle up to 2 ½ inches high. Do the same on the 6-inch disk with remaining meringue.

     Reduce oven to 275°F. Bake 1-1 ¼ hours until the shells are crisp on the outside, but still soft inside. Turn oven off and let cool completely in the oven.

Make the ganache

     Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces, stir over low heat until the pieces are melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool until lukewarm, and still spreadable.  

Assemble cake

     Trim the top and sides of chocolate cake so that it will lie flat and fit inside large meringue base. Place cake, upside down in base, cover top and sides with ganache. Top with smaller meringue “crown” fill with whipped cream and strawberry slices. Garnish with additional whole strawberries and meringue decorations.


Note: recipes adapted from Hershey’s Classic Recipes and BBC Food’s Crown Layered Pavlova




Pavlova with Summer Berries

Here’s a summer dessert that knocks your socks off. Pavlova originated in Australia first made for Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina on tour in Kangaroo country yonks ago. I learned to make it in London, when I lived there. It was a summer staple at all the summer picnics (British for tail gait accept with linen, silver and china). What makes this different from your straight up meringue is that a Pavlova is squishy in the middle not rock hard. The squishy-ness mixed with the whipped cream filling and berry topping makes a pretty dessert for sure and definitely an incredibly delicious one...just maaavalis daahling, simply maaavalis! Just one little tricky note don’t make this on a humid day and make sure you must must whip the egg whites long enough or else the Pavlova will flatten out in the oven and look like a giant blob rather than rounded and peaky. So, give it a go as they say in the old country.


Serves about 8 people

For the Pavlova

5 egg whites

10 oz granulated sugar

1-¼ teaspoons corn starch

1 ¼ teaspoons vinegar

Pinch of salt

Canola oil

For the filling

1 pint each, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries

(Or any other combo of fruit you like)

1 ½ pints of whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil lightly.

Beat the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high until stiff and standing in peaks. Lower the speed and add ½ of the sugar. Continue whisking on medium/high until glossy. Turn the mixer to low again and add the remaining sugar, cornstarch and vinegar. Whisk until incorporated, but do not let the egg whites deflate.

Drop mounds of meringue in the shape of a circle (about 10 inch diameter) using a metal spoon. Spread additional meringue in the middle and “hollow” out the center to create a “nest,” continue dropping more on top of the circle edges creating “walls.” The Pavlova will expand in the oven then deflate a bit when taken out of the oven. Bake for 1 hour turning ½ way through to ensure even browning. Carefully peel away parchment paper and let cool on a wire rack. Transfer to a large plate or platter

Wash and pick over berries, quarter the strawberries. Fill the center of the Pavlova with whipped cream and mound the berries in the center. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is such a pretty dessert!

Its All Delicious Notes: You can make your Pavlova smaller or larger just keep sugar egg white ratio 2-1. The color of your Pavlova will vary based on the type of vinegar you use, obviously the darker the vinegar the darker the Pavlova. Sorry, thought I should throw that in. Also...personally, I don’t add sugar to the berries or the whipped cream but there’s nothing stopping you if that’s what you prefer. I like the fresh tastes as is and there is a lot of sugar in the Pavlova anyway.