The very name chocolate pavlova conjures up delight and decadence. These little chocolate pavlovas are perfect for individual desserts. The chocolate meringues are topped with rhubarb and elderflower curd along with roasted rhubarb. Pure bliss and a striking summer dessert.
Last weekend my mother turned up with a lovely bunch of rhubarb from her garden. Rhubarb used to flourish on our allotment and we had a big glut every year. Since moving down to our plot on the field, however, rhubarb has persistently refused to grow and I really miss it.
My rhubarb yearning was partially stimulated by a desire to make chocolate meringues. Yes I know the connection isn’t obvious, but I had a grand vision for chocolate and rhubarb pavlovas topped with rhubarb and elderflower curd. For elderflowers are also in season right now.
Chocolate Pavlova with Roasted Rhubarb and Rhubarb Curd
The mini pavlovas I’d initially envisioned actually ended up being rather large. The grand vision I had didn’t exactly come to pass either. But goodness gracious, the rhubarb pavlovas were scrummy.
The combination of zingy rhubarb curd with chocolate meringues complement each other perfectly. The contrasting textures of smooth and crunchy add to the overall enjoyment. The rhubarb curd is delicious in its own right and I was really pleased with the lovely orange colour it turned into; I was thinking it might just come out as a rather unlovely muddy brown.
Every pavlova needs a good meringue base. I already knew mine was going to be a chocolate one, but could I find a recipe for it anywhere? So, as usual I went my own way with the chocolate meringues. Although dark chocolate coloured meringues would look rather good, I didn’t want the flavour to dominate. So I went for a light touch and used cocoa.
I used arrowroot to stabilise the meringue, but you could use cornflour if you prefer. Arrowroot works in a similar way to cornflour, but it’s said to have beneficial properties. When a recipe calls for cornflour, I invariably use arrowroot instead.
When you’re forming the meringues, indent the middles to resemble nests. This will hold the rhubarb curd. And if you like the speckled look, dust the meringues with cocoa powder before baking. Which, as you can see, is what I did.
If you’d like to have a go at making vegan chocolate meringues, follow my recipe for brown sugar aquafaba meringues. But instead of using brown sugar, use golden caster sugar. You can either use vanilla sugar or add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then add the arrowroot and cocoa powder as described in the meringue recipe below.
- Separated 3 large duck eggs and whisked the whites in a large clean bowl until foamy, reserving the yolks for the curd.
- Added a pinch of cream of tarter and whisked until soft peaks had formed.
- Added 200g vanilla sugar (golden caster) a spoonful at a time, whisking in between each one.
- Sieved in 3 teaspoons of arrowroot (I generally use this instead of cornflour as it has similar properties and is said to be beneficial).
- Sieved in 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder and whisked until stiff peaks had formed.
- Spooned the mixture onto lined baking trays to form eight circles, leaving plenty of space in between each one (just as well I did as the meringues virtually doubled in size).
- Form into nest shapes, leaving a large indentation in the middle.
- Sprinkled a little cocoa powder over each one.
- Baked at 150℃ (300℉, Gas 2) for 10 minutes, then at 125℃ (275℉, Gas ½) for a further hour. Switched off the oven and left the meringues inside until cold.
Meanwhile I made:
Rhubarb and Elderflower Curd
One of the things I used to make a lot of was rhubarb curd. So when I got my hands on this rhubarb, I had a sudden yearning to make some again. However, the last time I made it was back in the days when I didn’t even know what a blog was. Never mind a recipe blog. So I couldn’t remember exactly how I made it. But I’m ever resourceful and I’ve made a lot of fruit curds, so I managed to come up with a most delicious rhubarb and elderflower curd.
The colour of some rhubarb curds is spectacular, but I’m guessing they’re made with forced rhubarb. Either that or food colouring. My rhubarb is just regular garden rhubarb, so the resulting colour is orange rather than pink. The taste, however, is sensational.
- Chopped 400g of already trimmed rhubarb stalks into chunks.
- Put them in a pan with 2 tbsp elderflower cordial and simmered until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Used a stick blender to puree.
- Mixed the 3 egg yolks in a bowl with 100g vanilla sugar (golden caster).
- Placed over a pan of simmering water and stirred – I didn’t want it so hot that I got scrambled eggs.
- Added the hot rhubarb puree and continued to stir.
- After about 10 minutes of regular (but not continuous) stirring, added 50g unsalted butter.
- Stirred for another 5 minutes or so, until the mixture had thickened.
- Poured into sterilised jars & sealed.
Stewed rhubarb is lovely, but roasting this tart fruit enhances its flavour even further. And to make it even more delicious, try adding a little elderflower cordial before you roast the rhubarb.
- Cut 200g of already trimmed rhubarb sticks into finger sized lengths.
- Cut this into batons lengthways.
- Placed in an ovenproof dish together with 1 tbsp elderflower cordial.
- Sprinkled with 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar (golden caster).
- Roasted at 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6) for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb was soft but still held its shape.
Chocolate and Rhubarb Pavlovas
- Spooned a tbsp of rhubarb curd onto a meringue.
- Topped with a teaspoon of clotted cream.
- Decorated with fingers of roasted rhubarb in what was meant to be an arty, chefy sort of way.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this recipe for chocolate pavlova or just the rhubarb and elderflower curd, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
I’m sending this recipe for chocolate pavlova to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays. Anything submitted must be made entirely from scratch.
As rhubarb is still in season, I’m also entering the roasted rhubarb and rhubarb curd elements into Simple and in Season with Ren Behan.
The inclusion of elderflower cordial into the rhubarb curd makes the recipe eligible for Herbs on Saturday with Karen over at Lavender and Lovage. I made the it with my own fair hands, using foraged elderflowers after all.
These mini chocolate pavlovas are perfect for al fresco eating in the lovely weather we’re currently experiencing. I am thus submitting these to a new monthly blogging challenge from Delicieux and Chez Foti, Four Seasons Food. This month’s theme is Picnic food and Outdoor Nibbles.
I forgot to check what the letter is for Alpha Bakes this month, but have just done so and fortuitously it is R. So I’m entering my R for a Rhubarb dessert to The More Than Occasional Baker who is hosting this month.