|Pavlova with a chocolate base, lightly sweetened cream filling, |
ripe figs, and melted dark chocolate
|chocolate pav: a delicious birthday cake alternative : )|
Chocolate Pavlova with Figs and Honey Yogurt Whipped Cream
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
4 egg whites
2/3 cups sugar (I used 2 tablespoons brown sugar as part of this)
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Honey Yogurt Whipped Cream:
1 small carton cream (whipping cream in the US, single cream in the UK)
3 tablespoons natural or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fruit & Chocolate Topping:
4 ripe figs, quartered (halved fresh cherries or strawberries also work well)
1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F (do not use a fan-forced oven or pavlova will flatten).
Whip up the egg whites till firm with electric mixer. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Carefully stir in cocoa and balsamic vinegar. (It's ok if streaks of cocoa remain)
Pile the egg white mixture onto a baking-paper lined cookie sheet. Make a large but tall circle, making a bit of an indentation in the centre for the cream filling. Place in oven and immediately turn oven down to 150C/ 300F. Bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours, until meringue is set, but still very slightly squidgy when you press your finger in the very centre. Turn off oven, crack open the oven door a couple of inches, and leave to cool completely (pavlova can be left in the oven overnight if necessary).
When ready to serve, carefully peel the meringue shell from the baking paper and set it on a serving plate. Mix all ingredients together for the honey yogurt whipped cream. Pile the yogurt whipped cream into the centre of the meringue shell, leaving an inch or so of meringue showing around the edge. Arrange the fig quarters around the creamy topping.
For the chocolate topping (optional): melt the dark chocolate carefully in a microwave (at 15 second intervals) or a double-boiler. Drizzle the chocolate over the entire pavlova.
Serve within a few hours to ensure that the meringue stays crisp on the outside.