Chocolate Pavlova with Peanut Butter Cups

Best Ever Chocolate Pavlova with Peanut Butter Cups“Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.”

These are the inspiring words of Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian ballet dancer and the person after whom the Pavlova was named.

I remember eating Pavlova as a child, or should I say, meringue. They were the rock hard store-bought meringue nests that scrape against the surface of your teeth like polystyrene – they were enough to make Vin Diesel’s hair stand on end! It wasn’t until I experienced “proper” meringue from Ottolenghi, my favourite deli/restaurant on Islington High Street in London, that my opinion of this sweet changed. The huge, cloud-shaped meringues had a deliciously soft marshmallow-like centre cradled within a light, crisp crunchy shell.

The Best Chocolate Pavlova on Cake StandWith Ottolenghi now being too far for me to get a “fix”, I’ve been tempted to try and master the art of making meringue at home. However, the fear of failure has always deterred me – it sounds so technical and I don’t think my teeth would forgive me if I subjected them to the polystyrene pavlova experience again!

This week however, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and give it a try. Having researched all the tips and tricks for making the perfect meringue, I set myself a pavlova goal – well two actually! To master the technique of how to make the perfect pavlova AND to create the best ever Chocolate Pavlova Recipe to serve to my friends and family at Easter. Yes, I would master the technique and then forget about it and be natural, or in other words, make pavlova and smother it in chocolate – because what’s more natural than a girl with chocolate?!

So here it is, my Chocolate Pavlova with Peanut Butter Cups Recipe. A deliciously light and airy chocolate pavlova with the softest, gooey-ist (that’s now officially a word!) centre, topped with freshly whipped cream and LOTS of my favourite chocolate – I know, it sounds too delicious for words, doesn’t it?

First you’ll need to pre-heat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and prep a baking sheet with a silicone pastry mat or parchment paper. If you’re using parchment paper, draw a 9″ circle to use as a guide when forming your pavlova. Then grease the surface with a little oil and lightly dust with flour, remembering to remove any excess.

So that brings me to Pavlova Tip #1: Ensure the whisk attachment and your mixing bowl are completely clean and residue free, which can “hurt” the process of whipping up the egg white. Do this by wiping them with a little distilled white vinegar. Once cleaned, ensure that they are completely dry before use.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of the mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Then gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for 10 minutes. Now add a splash of vinegar and beat for another minute.

Whisking Egg Whites for Best Chocolate Pavlova

Gently fold in the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Pavlova Tip #2: Treat your pavlova with love and tenderness. Do not over-mix, as this will remove the air from the mixture and result in a flat, hard, and quite frankly, yucky pavlova.

Fold Chocolate into Egg Whites for Pavlova Recipe

Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray and form into a 9″ diameter circle – I used a spatula for this. Again, be gentle!

Chocolate Pavlova on Pastry Mat

Place the tray in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250°F (120°C). Leave to bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meringue is dry and firm to the touch.

Pavlova Tip #3: Pavlova is really fragile and notorious for deflating if it’s exposed to cold air before it cools. So when it’s done, leave it in the oven to cool. Just prop the oven door open with a spoon or spatula.

Chocolate Pavlova on Cake Stand

To make the cream topping, beat the cream on a medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.

Pavlova Tip #4: it really helps if you place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes before whipping the cream.

Whisking heavy cream for pavlova topping

Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

Top the pavlova with the whipped cream and decorate with peanut butter cups, or your favourite chocolate and candies. I used Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs in the spirit of Easter – and as you know I have a real “thing” for Peanut Butter Cups!

It is best to serve your Chocolate Pavlova straight away, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

The Best Chocolate Pavlova on Cake Stand

Wishing you all a fantastic – chocolate filled – Easter Holiday!

Now that you’ve mastered the technique of baking the best Chocolate Pavlova ever, why not indulge in a little sofa-side shopping at the Arugula & Rocket Cook Shop?

Chocolate Pavlova with Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Best Ever Chocolate Pavlova with Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

For the Pavlova:
  • 6 Egg Whites (Room Temperature)
  • 1½ Cups Caster Sugar (or Powdered Sugar)
  • Splash of Distilled White Vinegar (or Pinch of Cream of Tartar)
  • ¼ Cup Cocoa Powder, Sifted
  • 2 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped

For the Topping:

  • 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Peanut Butter Cups (or Chocolate of your Choosing)

Instructions:

For the Pavlova:

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F (165°C).

Line a baking sheet with a silicone pastry mat or parchment paper. If using parchment paper, draw a 9″ circle. Grease with oil and lightly dust with flour, removing any excess.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for 10 minutes.

Add a splash of vinegar and continue to beat for 1 minute.

Gently fold in the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. NOTE: Be careful not to over-mix, as this will remove the air from the mixture. 

Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray and, using a spatula, form into a 9″ diameter circle. 

Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250°F (120°C). Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meringue is dry and firm to the touch.

Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open. Leave the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.

For the Topping: 

Beat the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

Top the pavlova with the whipped cream and decorate with the peanut butter cups.

Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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