I had never made a Pavlova before. In fact, until a year or so ago, I hadn't ever heard of one either. I vaguely remember reading something about it and the story behind it's name a long time ago and having been curious about what it was.
Then, the Daring Bakers made Pavlova's not too long ago and I was lucky enough to get one of these lovely little chocolate ones from my friend, Barbara. It was terrifically yummy and I really wanted to try it. Well, at the beginning of August, I finally got around to it.
We were having dinner with Natalie at Aussie Mum in the Kitchen, and her family, who we have been friends with for years recently and I really wanted to make something special for Nats for dessert. I decided to do a search for 'Australian desserts' and the Pavlova kept popping up all over the place. I'm not sure why, but we all loved it and Nats had said that she hadn't had one in years.
We actually all agreed that we really loved it as thin and kind of chewy, crackly crunchy as it was. We also loved the chocolate mousse and strawberries on top. My original intention was for the Pavlova to be supremely light and high rising, but it kind of flattened and deflated and cracked on me. Bottom line: it really didn't seem to matter. So, while it didn't turn out as impressive looking as I thought it might, I don't think I would change a thing. In fact, I really can't wait to make this again!
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Helen (Tartelette)
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator, till the pavlova is ready to be assembled and served.
TO ASSEMBLE THE PAVLOVA:
Place the pavlova on a large serving platter or cake plate. Spoon or pipe the chocolate mousse on top of the pavlova then top with the sliced strawberries. Top the whole 'cake' with chocolate curls if you want to be fancy.
Serve in wedges and enjoy!