Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with that special someone, hitting the town with the girls or staying in and drowning your sorrows, this recipe is bound to make it one to remember.
I’m not going to pretend that these chocolate-chip pavlovas are healthy, but they are gluten-free, dairy-free, FODMAP-free, technically one of your 5-a-day and seriously delicious.
Ingredients: (serves 2 extremely hungry people – or 4 normal people)
For the base:
- 3 egg whites
- 130g caster sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 25g dark chocolate
For the topping:
- Lactose-free ice cream (approx. 5 scoops)
- Raspberries (approx. ¼ cup)
- Strawberries (approx. 1 cup)
- Blueberries (approx. 1 cup)
- Dark chocolate (approx. 15g)
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Start by beating the egg whites in a large bowl until they turn light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time and see the mixture stiffen.
Finely chop the chocolate and sieve the cocoa then add them and the vinegar to the bowl by gently folding the mixture until the cocoa is completely mixed through. The vinegar helps the mixture keep the air whisked into it.
Now for the difficult bit – creating the heart shape. Line a baking tray and draw two large hearts, using a stencil if necessary and making sure there is plenty of space in-between. Put a small amount of the pavlova mixture into a piping bag and use this to outline the shape of the hearts. I made my own piping bag out of baking paper using this video. The heart doesn’t have to be perfect (evidently by my poor attempt below) as the shape will change once cooked.
Using a spoon, fill the hearts with the remaining mixture, building up the height as you go.
Reduce the heat of the oven to 145°C and cook for 30 minutes. The hearts should have solidified and become crispy around the edges.
Turn off the oven but leave the pavlova in there for a few hours to completely cool. They will continue to crisp during this time. When ready, very carefully remove the pavlovas from the baking tray and place onto a large serving plate. Don’t worry if small pieces break off from around the sides – it’s bound to happen and can easily be covered up!
Just before serving, prepare your toppings. Cut out the stems of the strawberries and slice them into quarters. Finely chop or grate the dark chocolate. Delicately top the pavlovas with the lactose-free ice cream and fruit of your choice and sprinkle with chocolate.
Use the leftover strawberries and chocolate to decorate around the edges. Serve quickly or you’ll have a pavlova avalanche as the ice cream melts!
His and Hers chocolate-chip pavlovas that are bound to have you falling in love all over again.
Happy Valentine’s Day!