Meringue with Strawberries & Chocolate
This cake comes from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros. I seem to go in cycles of cooking from Tessa’s books (Falling Cloudberries and Twelve a Tuscan Cookbook being her other two). When I first received AJF I cooked about 20 recipes in close succession. Since then I’ve added one here and one there. The three I have cooked over and over are her Hamburgers with the lovely pink sauce, Peppermint Crisp (which is positively addictive!) and her gorgeous Mango Sorbet.
This recipe is a pavlova meringue mixture that has toasted finely chopped nuts and finely crushed biscuits folded into the raw mix before being baked. It didn’t rise as much as I expected it to, but the picture in the book is flat-ish – well compared to the normal pavlova anyway. Melted semisweet chocolate is then poured over the top before being topped with whipped cream and strawberries. It was good. We liked it and a lot of it disappeared very quickly but I’m not sure that it is separate enough from either straight strawberry pavlova or (Nigella’s Forever Summer) chocolate pavlova, which I always make with strawberries anyway. Though perhaps the nuts in the meringue give it its own identity. It was nice though, nutty, chocolate-y, sweet, creamy a bit crunchy and the juicy strawberries on top. It could have a place in the Summer time, when it’s hot and something a little different is required. If you make this, don’t serve it from the fridge (we found this out with the left over bit), the chocolate layer is a bit hard to crack with your spoon! Keith suggested it would be good with passion fruit, and I think he is right, I’ll give that a go.
I really want to make my regular strawberry pavlova again now I have the taste for it. It isn’t quite the season, but hey, why not! I bought Spanish strawberries and there was no hint of sourness to them. I have a bit of a strawberry habit, and often buy the out of season berries, but the year is wearing on and these were good – good enough to set up a craving for more!