From the tender age of three, up until about eighteen, I took part in Classical Ballet lessons. No doubt there were days when I didn’t want to attend, but for the most part I danced along quite happily, grand-jetéing and pirouetting all the way to class… Ballet books lined the shelves, tutus filled the dress-up tub and oh so much oohing and aahing was had over the national and international ballet dancers who came to perform in our local theatre. My mother bought season tickets each year for us both to attend. Mikhail Baryshnikov was my pin-up boy… until the likes of INXS, Wham and Michael J Fox took over. Ahh yes, I’m an 80’s girl after all…
So unsurprisingly, in my younger years, a pavlova would be my number one request each year for my Birthday Cake. A dessert created for the beautiful, touring Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova – what could be finer? I thank my Mum dearly for making such delicious cakes over the years and for always making whatever our hearts desired. I’ve continued that tradition with my own children and love the challenge of finding a way to make their requests come to fruition, not to mention the priceless looks of wonder and appreciation at the finished cakes.
These days pavlova makes an appearance in our house more often at Christmas and always on Australia Day (January 26th). A summer dessert, perfect for when berries and passionfruit are in season and the sun is sitting high in the sky. This year, it was a Chocolate-Chip Pavlova that adorned our Christmas Day table and tempted us to eat just that little bit more…, deliciously topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries and chocolate curls.
The recipe below is adapted slightly from a classic recipe of Stephanie Alexander‘s in her amazing tome The Cook’s Companion. I feel rather strongly that the oven temperatures she uses are too hot (for my own oven, at least…), resulting, once before, in an unfortunate-looking, browned pavlova. Never a good look… unless of course you’re making a Chocolate Pav! One of my dearest friends, Claire, made a wonderful Chocolate-Chip Pavlova a couple of years ago and ever since then, I’ve shamelessly added choc-chips to my own – thinking of her ALWAYS when I do though! xx
Chocolate-Chip Pavlova | Gather and Graze
- 4 Free-Range Egg Whites (at room temperature)
- Pinch of Salt
- 220g/1 Cup Caster Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Cornflour (Sifted)
- 1 Teaspoon Verjuice (or White Wine Vinegar)
- 100g/½ Cup Good Quality Dark Chocolate (Chopped)
- 300ml Cream (Whipped to Soft Peaks)
- Fresh Fruit/Berries/Shaved Chocolate to Decorate
- Recipe adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s ‘The Cook’s Companion’ Cookbook
Pre-heat the oven to 130°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add the caster sugar while continuing to whisk, until stiff peaks form. Fold in lightly the cornflour, verjuice/vinegar and the chopped chocolate.
Scoop the mixture onto the baking tray and shape into a 20cm round, flattening the top and sides.
Bake for 1½ hours and then turn the oven off, prop the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon, leaving the pavlova shell to sit in the oven until completely cool.
When ready to serve, top the shell with whipped cream, fresh berries/seasonal fruit and a scattering of chocolate curls.
Pingback: Passionfruit Ice Cream | Gather & Graze
The pavlova looks so delicious! I always thought it was a summer food, however in Scotland you rarely get a summer, so I find myself making this just whenever I feel like it, including Hogmanay! I usually use a Nigella recipe, however I think i’ll have to give yours a go.
Interesting isn’t it… it feels like a summer dessert to me too, though perhaps that’s mostly because Theyre traditionally topped with summer fruit. Could definitely adapt with Autumn fruit like figs and plums etc or with nuts, chocolate and syrup in winter.
I find the oven temp recommended by Nigella to be a little on the hot side, the meringue would come out looking more like a chocolate pav…
Oh dear, you have me craving a slice of pav right now! Might need to make one over the Easter weekend. 🙂
I just found your blog, and must say that everything looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to make a pavlova, but no recipe has ever sparked my interest, until this one- this looks fabulous!!
Thanks very much Jennifer – so happy to hear that you like what you’ve seen so far on G&G! Hope you give the pav a go, they really are such a fabulous dessert to serve up for friends/family! Cheers, Margot
Will do for my next dinner party!
Oh my…! I love pavlova and I often make a chocolate one (with cocoa and a little chopped dark chocolate) but I’ve never actually made a white meringue one with chocolate chips before. It’s gorgeous, particularly with those beautiful berries and the pristine white cream! I always wanted to be a ballerina when I was a little girl. Never made it (mum said I was too tall!) but at least I’ve been able to celebrate Anna with this delicious dessert 😉 xx
I love chocolate pavlova too Laura – works so beautifully with the berries and cream!
So sorry that you missed out on ballet classes growing up – particularly as it was something you were keen to do! Lovely to go and watch the professionals perform from time to time though… the WA ballet is meant to be fantastic! 🙂
Gorgeous pavlova!! Chocolate chips sounds like a lovely addition. they look really pretty!
Happy New Year to you and your family!!
Thanks so very much Jo! Happy New Year to you too!
I’ve never made pavlova because I’m afraid… but after seeing your gorgeous pavlova, I feel that the time has come. Hmmm… I hope I can do it! Beautiful Margot!
Oh, I am certain that you can do it Lidia! Nothing at all to be afraid of – it’s easy peasy!
Let me know how you go… or if you have any further questions about the recipe – more than happy to help! 🙂
This looks fantastic and seems to be just as delicious….thankyou for the recipe! 🙂 Being a chocolate buff myself I thing the chocolate shavings are perfect for garnishing.
Thanks very much Ayesha – I hope you give it a try sometime! Cheers, Margot
I have never made nor even tasted a Pavlova, Margot, but this one that you’ve made sure has me thinking of giving one a try. It is such an elegant dessert and a beautiful way to end Christmas Dinner. This is certainly a tradition worth maintaining.
John, I would love to be able to make one for you, but alas… it would not travel well! Please do give it a try – a little piece of the Antipodes on a plate! 🙂 Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Love the new look of your blog, it looks really fresh (and I am a huge fan of lavender so it was an instant winner for me). Great pav recipe, I will have to try using verjuice next time I make one. I would never have thought to put choc chips in it and I know someone (Mr LG) who would love that little addition 🙂 Happy New Year Margot!!
Thanks Karen – the photo was taken at the Lavender Farm at Te Horo up on the Kapiti Coast, a number of years ago. Such a pretty part of the world!
Give the added chocolate a go – love to know whether you like it or not… it’s been a real hit in our family and I doubt there’s any turning back now!
Happy New Year to you and Mr LG too! I feel a glass or two of champagne coming on! 🙂
– Beautiful narrative and spectacular dessert. I love varieties and the the chocolate-chip twist you added to your Pavlova is brilliant. Having baked it many times, have you ever tried it with nuts? I always wonder how that would turn out.
– The best Pavlova I ever had was when we were visiting New Zealand in Nov 2012 and it was tall and topped with passion fruit. I’ll never forget the taste, different than any I had before. It inspired me to challenge making/posting it in as soon as we returned, in Dec (at the time, I could not find passion fruit to use).
Hi Fae, so lovely to hear from you! I see your comments so often on a number of blogs that I follow, but have yet to explore yours. In the next couple of days I’ll make time to come and visit!
The addition of nuts is something I’ve only ever had in smaller meringues. Both chopped almonds and hazelnuts work really well, so I can’t see why they wouldn’t go perfectly in a pavlova. I have one child who doesn’t really like nuts (thankfully not allergic to them, but just a slow to develop taste… I hope!) and I guess that’s why I hold back on adding them to a number of recipes – unless of course they can be scattered over the top (as an optional extra) at the end.
How fabulous that you came out to visit New Zealand! Isn’t it a stunning country!? With so much wonderful food on offer… A passionfruit pav is one of my favourites too – gives that wonderful tang to cut through the sweetness of meringue and cream!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Margot
Wow, that looks gorgeous! I have to give pavlova a try one of these days, so this recipe is bookmarked. Thanks for sharing, Margot. XOXO, Angie.
Thanks Angie, I hope you give it a try as it’s such a lovely dessert to serve up on a sunny day! Brings a little sunshine of it’s own! 🙂
Yum! Whipping egg white is still hit and miss for me, hopefully one day I can produce gorgeous pavs like yours. Chocolate chips are an inspired addition!
It’s really worthwhile making sure the egg whites are at room temperature – you’ll get much better volume from them if you do. I’m sure you’ll producing fabulous pavs in no time at all! I love that the chocolate chips add another texture to the dessert and complement so beautifully the berries!
Loving the new look. Or has this been updated? Either way it’s looking very smart!
Have only ever made a pavlova once, and still pleased to say that it turned out beautifully. And even though I’m not overly keen on sugary treats that goes out the window with pavlova! Could quite simply crash my face in the centre of it and happily slurp! Which is why I don’t order it in public.
Oh, and envious of the fact you had the chance to study ballet!
Thanks Johnny for noticing the new look – I’ve been tinkering with CSS over the past day or so, trying to get it all to look the way I want it to. Lots of trial and error and frustration, so your very thoughtful comment is appreciated more than you can know.
I laughed out loud, when reading your comment and had to explain what was so funny to my youngest child – he had a good giggle too! I can just picture it – like a happily, self-administered cream-pie to the face! Tempting, I must admit! 🙂
It’s never too late to study ballet Johnny – there are sure to be adult classes somewhere nearby to you! I’ve been contemplating doing this myself, as I’ve never found much joy in running, riding or hanging out in gyms…
Have a great weekend!
This looks like a work of art…thanks for sharing…
Thanks for your kind comment – much appreciated! Margot
That is just beautiful, I so love pavlova but like tiny white cottage have never made one, that has to change. Your beautiful creation has inspired me to make one. I have egg whites left from my egg nog, I see a New Years Day pavlova on the menu!
Oh Suzanne, I really hope you do – especially when you have all those egg whites sitting there just asking to be transformed! It’s such a great celebration cake/dessert to make! Let me know if you try it… 🙂 They’re beautiful topped with fresh kiwi-fruit as well!
I plan on making it will be a lighter dessert to start the new year will report back
I hope the pavlova was a success Suzanne – love to hear how it went!
I haven’t made it yet nor the shrimp persillade. I haven’t been able to really do any cooking because of my injury. I am hoping in the next week or two. I have the egg white already separated, did that before I injured mysef and bought the shrimp but had to put in the freezer. I plan on posting this on the blog linking to you as soon as I can.
Lovely – I’ll look forward to reading this post down the track when you’re feeling better Suzanne. So sorry that it’s still causing you so much grief and pain – how frustrating! 😦
What a beautiful pavlova! I have always wanted to make one and have yet to do so. This is very inspiring. Beautifully photographed too!
Thank you for your lovely comment! I do hope you give it a try one day… despite the lengthy baking/cooling time, they are such an easy and quick dessert to whip up! I often bake the shell the day before I need it, then it’s there and ready just to be topped with cream and fruit at the last minute.