This desert can be made with any number of levels and toppings, my favorite look and taste is that from the combination of strawberries and cream. This recipe uses fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
- 6 egg whites
- 3 cups of caster sugar
- 2 tbsp of corn flour
- 300g of frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 600ml of thickened cream
- 2 punnets of fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup of dark melting chocolate
- Electric mixer
- Small pot (for strawberry sauce)
- Large mixing bowl (for pavlova)
- Medium mixing bowl (for cream)
- Grease proof paper
- 3 circular baking trays
- Measuring utensils
- Large plate
Step 2: Strawberry Sauce
This simple strawberry sauce adds colour to the overall desert and a sweet and sticky strawberry flavoring to the pavlova.
Roughly chop up the 300g of frozen strawberries and add them to a small pot. Next add 1/4 cup of caster sugar to the pot. Put the pot on a stove at a medium heat and stir the mixture until the sugar has all dissolved. Continue stirring the the sauce until it starts to bubble. Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Pavlova
Pavlova's lovely lite and sweet nature is perfect to be used with a number of toppings and can be easily stacked into layers.
Pre-heat oven to 160C
Start by measuring out 3 circles on the back of grease-proof paper with diameters 18cm, 22cm and 26cm. Cut out the circles leaving about 1 inch around the edge of the circle that you have drawn.
Separate 6 eggs and add the whites to a large bowl. Next beat the eggs with an electric mixer until it has become white and fluffy (see video). Now slowly add the sugar mixing as you go (it's handy to use a spatula to mix in the edges). Once the sugar has been combined add the corn flour while mixing. Continue mixing until the mixture can form solid white peaks (see video).
Next using the spatula scoop out the mixture onto the grease-proof paper circles. Spread out the mixture on the paper to the dimensions of each of the circles. Try to make sure each layer is approximately the same height. Put the pavlovas into the pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minuets. They should be hard on the top (and slightly coloured) but chewy in the middle.
Step 4: Preparing Decorations
Prepare the fresh strawberries by washing and chopping them. the strawberries must be chopped into three different sizes. You'll need whole strawberries for the top, thin strawberry slices for the edges and diced strawberries for the center (see images). You can also use a large strawberry as the centerpiece on the top. Slice a large strawberry length-ways stopping about 1/2 cm from the bottom. Splay out the individual layers like a fan.
Whip 600ml of thickened cream (make sure it's whip-able) with electric whisks, this cream will be used in between each layer and on the top of the pavlova.
Melt about 1/2 cup of dark melting chocolate in a small bowl , this is best down AFTER you have stacked the layers as it will go over the top.
Step 5: Putting It All Together!
Now comes the fun bit, stacking all the layers!
Make sure each layer of the cooked pavlova has cooled. Take the largest layer and carefully peel off the baking paper from the bottom and place it on a large plate. With the icing knife add a layer of the whipped cream, making sure it is evenly spread. Next add the strawberry slices around the edge of the layer then place the diced strawberry in the center. Take the cooled strawberry sauce and add drops of it around the center and over the edges of the layer.
Once that is done carefully add the next layer and top it with the cream, strawberries and strawberry sauce like the first layer. Add the final layer and spread out the last of the cream. Place the fanned out strawberry in the middle and add the whole strawberries around it. After that add the last of the strawberry sauce.
Take the melted dark chocolate and add drops of the it onto the tops of the whole strawberries. With the rest of the melted chocolate flick it over the top of the pavlova, make sure you turn the pavlova and add lines from every direction.
Step 6: Finished!
This dessert can serve about 12-16 people and doesn't need any other accompaniments.