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birthday pavlova


i had meringue recently, made by my friend toby, which sent me into raptures. it was golden, chewy and full of flavour. sadly we managed to demolish everything that he presented us with so there was no doggie bag full of (meringuey) leftovers to take home. not that anything it contained would have lasted long.

it was my birthday last friday and pavlova was my obvious choice of celebration. this is also my choice for meeta’s big birthday bang, not least as she and i celebrate our birthdays on consecutive days. happy birthday meeta!

this pavlova was a bit special. the chocolate meringue was flavoured using rococo jasmine chocolate, which was gift from toby’s wife julia. i also used valsamica instead of normal vinegar. both the jasmine and vanilla flavours added depth and complexity to the chocolateyness.

the fruit on top could be anything – choose what’s in season. or, if it’s your birthday, choose whatever your favourite fruit is. and then serve yourself an ample portion...


jasmine chocolate pavlova with berries (serves 8-10)

for the meringue:

6 egg whites

300g caster sugar

1 tablespoon valsamica (or balsamic vinegar)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sieved

50g jasmine chocolate, finely chopped

for the topping:

500ml double cream, whipped until thick

500g mixed berries – i used blueberries, raspberries and blackberries

preheat the oven to 180c. line a baking tray with parchment.

beat the egg whites, in a food processor until peaks form. beat in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time until the mix is stiff and shiny. place the mixture in a large bowl and fold in the valsamica, cocoa powder and chocolate.

pile the mix onto the baking tray, making a circle in shape, smoothing it as you go. place in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 150c. cook for 65-75 minutes, until it looks crispy and dry but is squidgy in the middle in prodded. turn off the oven, leave the door open and leave to cool completely.

put the meringue on a serving plate. place the whipped cream over the top of it, smooth and scatter with the berries. serve.

Reader Comments (10)

Abby!!! Happy Happy Birthday Girl! I was wondering why I had taken an instant liking to you. Now I know - it's that Gemini thing LOL! I wish you all the very best for the year and look forward to getting to know you more.
This is a superb entry - colorful and sweet!
June 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMeeta
thanks meeta, i'm glad you like "your" cake - it's a pleasure to share it with you!
June 5, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
Happy Birthday Abby!
That pavlova looks really good, I haven't had 'jasmine chocolate' before - sounds interesting!
June 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicisme
thanks for the birthday wishes nic! do you want me to send you some jasmine chocolate to try? email me if so.
June 8, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
Happy Birthday Abby! The meringue looks scrumptious with those fresh berries.
June 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGlenna
thanks glenna!
June 10, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
I have a weakness for pavlova. The jasmine chocolate is new to me.
June 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret
hi margaret. i'd forgotten i had a weakness for pavlova - crazy isn't it?!?
June 13, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
Mmm! I love pavlova, because of how delicious, light, and easy it is. I've been making it since I lived in Ireland with an Australian roommate, who gave me a postcard with the recipe, but I love this little twist. I'm not sure about how to get "jasmine" chocolate, but I'll keep an eye out!
October 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJudith
hi judith, don't let a lack of jasmine chocolate put you off, afterall, pavlova with any sort of twist is better than no pavlova!
October 4, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby

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