Fresh fruit doesn’t have to be boring #4: Quattro frutti chocolate pavlova (gluten-free)
Gluten-free, wheat-free, flour-free but sadly not calorie-free…unless it’s your birthday. Or it’s Christmas. Or Easter. Those days are automatically calorie-free days… 🙂
I was introduced to Australia’s national dish as a Uni student in Melbourne in the early 1990’s but I never learnt how to make one until my mother-in-law taught me (thanks Jeannette!). It’s been my husband’s family favourite for years and years and I’m pleased to be able to carry on the tradition.
However, this recipe is a chocolate version of the usually egg-white based pavlova and I first saw one being made by Nigella Lawson. However, I noticed that she didn’t add 2 key ingredients that have always gone into my mother-in-law’s recipe and which makes her pavlova extra tasty. I’ve therefore incorporated the best of both recipes to create my own version of a chocolate pavlova.
As is often the case, my husband and I have very different opinions about what fruit works best on a pav; he likes grapes and bananas while I prefer berries but we both agree that pears and chocolate are a winning combination. So, I decided to create a multi-fruit pavlova, like a sweet version of the Italian quattro formaggi pizza, and called it my quattro frutti chocolate pavlova. We actually ended up using five types of fruit but we combined strawberries and raspberries together to form one of the four sections.
I used a combination of cocoa powder, grated 70% chocolate and finely chopped 70% chocolate to create the chocolate pavlova, and the best thing about this is that when you bite into it, you get the crispy light meringue outer shell disintegrating in your mouth, then the chewiness of the meringue middle, followed by occasional tiny pieces of chocolate that then dissolve on your tongue… sheer bliss!
Making a pavlova is such a stress free way of making a dessert because it’s nigh on impossible to mess up. I think it’s best made the night before so it can cool overnight in the oven. It’s a gauranteed crowd pleaser and always gets gasps of delight from everyone, kids and adults alike. There’s just something about the combination of meringue, fruit and cream that’s simply irresistible, at least to me and my family anyway!
If you’d like to try making it with your own favourite fruit topping, you can get the recipe by clicking here.
Lots of love