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Chocolate Strawberry ‘Pavlyuchenkova’

October 13, 2009

DSC00004I made this dessert for a fellow blogger friend. Her name is C Note and she is da bomb. She has a tennis blog which is ranked no.1 in my humble opinion.  C Note is from the US and made the trip to the UK for a well deserved holiday as well as having a guided tour around Wimbledon AELTC, you know that little grass court slam.  I had to make something special for her because she’s such a cool person. Now I didn’t have to rack my brain for long because I had an instant eureka moment – PAVLOVA! Ironically enough she wanted me to make her cinnamon buns in her podcast but I didn’t feel it was worthy of the occasion. The unique name comes from the silly simple fact C Note thought I wrote Pavlyuchenkova – the surname of a young Russian tennis player who is too cool for school when in reality I meant Pavlova 😉 Tennis and cooking merging seamlessly there.

I first made it for a Food Tech class back in secondary school [high school]years ago and it came out PERFECT. This dish is 100% foolproof. You just can’t go wrong even if you tried. It’s incredibly delicious. The crisp outer shell and the mallow-y insides contrast perfectly with the whipped cream and sharp tangy strawberries.  I got the recipe from a Nigella Lawson recipe book and it originally calls for raspberry but seeing as I would meet C Note at Wimbledon, it begged for Strawberries 😉

Here’s the recipe online


Chocolate Meringue Base

6 egg whites
300g/ 1 1/3 c caster/granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sieved
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
50g/ 3 rows of dark chocolate, finely chopped


500ml/ 2 c double/heavy cream
A punnet/ 10 oz of strawberries
2 tablespoons of grated dark chocolate

Makes two medium sized pavlovas.

  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350°F/176°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.
  • Beat the egg whites in a bowl until satiny peaks appear, bring the whisk up to form a peak that should hold its shape.
  • DSC00002Most important step is to add the sugar a TABLESPOON at a time. Sprinkle it while whisking [We, females like multi-tasking, no? ;)] During this slow but worthwhile process, the texture should dramatically change. It should become stiff and shiny. It should also be a little harder to whisk. The appearance reminded me of Fluff 😀
  • DSC00003Sift the cocoa powder, add the vinegar and roughly chopped chocolate to the mixture and fold very GENTLY until the cocoa powder is mixed in. Don’t blend it fully. It shouldn’t look remotely chocolatey just yet.
  • Carefully spoon the mixture onto the paper and shape it so it looks like a circular, flat-ish disk. Make sure to make a slight well in the centre so the cream and fruit can fill it.


[I always forget to cut baking parchment with scissors, I end up using a knife instead! Don’t do this :P]

  • Place in the oven and IMMEDIATELY turn it down to gas mark 2/300°F / 149°C and cook for a minimum of 1 hour. Max 1 hour and15 minutes. To check it’s cooked, it should be crisp on the outside with cracks. I like mine squishy so you  can press the top to make sure it’s gives way a little  if that suits your taste.


  • Turn off the oven and open the door to let it cool down.
  • During this time whip the cream. [I hand whipped it just because of many things and partly because when it became whipped, the pavlova cooled down! :p] Make sure not to overwhip it. Slice the strawberries in half and grate the chocolate.
  • Add the cream in the middle, arrange the strawberries in a nice haphazard manner and sprinkle the chocolate on top. Glitter bowl is optional but as a WTA fan any JJ references are a must.

Et voila! A mighty impressive dessert that doesn’t even involve any skill but gets a lot of happy customers and a chugmug picture! Success!!35911485

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Aniekie permalink
    October 13, 2009 15:28

    love it!LOVE IT!

  2. Kristen permalink*
    October 13, 2009 15:49

    This has balsamic vinegar? I LOVE balsamic vinegar! Also, I bought a Nigella book, “How to Eat” and read it in like 2 days, simply because I knew you loved her.

    I can’t wait to make this Maz. You rock!!!

    • Maz permalink*
      October 13, 2009 15:55

      Because we are cooking soul sisters, it will not surprise you to hear that I have that book too 😀

      it’s super easy and I implore you to make it, just read C Note’s tweets again 😉

  3. October 13, 2009 18:12

    BS. I refuse to believe you made this. I simply refuse.

    [Runs off to have third slice in 4 hours]

    • Maz permalink*
      October 14, 2009 10:27

      Proof of the pudding is in the eating…and you ate 3 slices of in 4 hours 😀 It was all for you, C Note, lap it up.

  4. lailablogs permalink
    October 14, 2009 08:13

    Looks absolutely delicious ..
    Laila ..

  5. Aniekie permalink
    October 23, 2009 16:23

    Made it! Love it! Very nearly ate it all! (so I have impulse control issue..)

    Maz, I’m on one knee and everything(I’ll throw in flowers even) 😀

  6. vanessa permalink
    October 31, 2009 17:19

    Maz , this thing is all kind of delicious !
    I made it today with raspberries instead and it was a real success !
    I’ve never in my life seen my mother eat two slices of the same cake until today !

    So Spaciba for this wonderful Russian recipe 😉

    Vanessa .

    • Maz permalink*
      November 1, 2009 10:47

      It’s actually not a Russian recipe! It’s from Nigella Lawson, you see 😉 So glad your family liked it!!

  7. June 25, 2010 10:39

    Gorgeous, we love it. The Smetana made it!

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