This is the easiest, spunkiest, most delicious dessert ever. It’s a big call, we know, but we stand by it!
I was skeptical to try this recipe. I’m not a fan of store-bought pavlovas and to be honest, I was surprised that Jamie would even suggest we use one – particularly for an event as special as Christmas. I was so, so wrong to be doubtful.
I don’t know how they did it, but the Gold Chocolate Hazelnut Pavlova we used could have been home-made. It’s hand-finished so each one is unique and a bit rustic looking and the marshmallow to crunch ratio is almost perfect.
I would happily serve that up for a speccy dessert, as is but we wanted to try a couple of variations. We followed the tips on Jamie’s Down Under Berry Pav recipe almost to the letter and the result was nothing short of spectacular.
See for yourself.
- 600g ripe strawberries
- 180g golden caster sugar
- 200g dark chocolate (70%)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 500ml thickened cream
- 1 Woolworths chocolate-rippled Pavlova base [we used the Gold Chocolate Hazelnut Pavlova]
- 1 orange
- a handful of baby mint leaves
1. Pick out a handful of the smaller strawberries, then halve with green stalks intact and put to one side. Halve or quarter the remaining strawberries, toss in 30g of sugar and leave to macerate.
2. To make the chocolate sauce, snap the chocolate into a pan and cover with 150ml boiling water. Place on a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring until the chocolate has melted into the water. Stir in 100g of sugar and continue cooking until you have a smooth chocolate sauce. Remove from the heat, then leave to thicken and cool.
3. Meanwhile, halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scraping the seeds into a large mixing bowl. Add the cream along with 50g of sugar and whip to soft peaks. [TIP: this cream was very sweet. I would halve the amount of sugar next time]
This is basically a deconstructed Pav. To make a rustic Eton mess break the Pavlova into a large bowl. (We were so impressed with the height and consistency of the marshmallow inside the Pavlova base, see the pic for detail.) Add the whipped cream, the macerated strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, then fold everything together with a large metal spoon. You can divide between bowls for a more rustic approach but we chose to serve it in a gorgeous crystal bowl as a feature for the dessert table. Top with a grating of orange zest, an extra drizzle of chocolate sauce and a scattering of baby mint leaves.
To make a sundae-style dessert lay out a tray of glasses or tumblers, then divide the macerated strawberries between them. Dollop half the whipped cream into the glasses, then cover each with some snapped up pieces of the Pavlova base. Spoon the rest of the cream on top and add a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Top with the reserved strawberries, a grating of orange zest, an extra drizzle of chocolate sauce and a scattering of baby mint leaves. [TIP: This is a decadent dessert and we could barely make it through ours so we recommend smaller portions!]