Cake · Chocolate · Pavlova

Squidgy Chocolate Pavlova Cake

Looking for a dessert with a wow effect that won’t take up much of your valuable time? Or a cake to serve the grown-ups at a children’s birthday party? This squidgy chocolate pavlova cake is quick, easy and delicious. Other than giving you the recipe, you don’t really need me to say any more, do you?

OK, in case you are not convinced yet, let me say a few more things. I made this in 35 minutes (excluding time in the oven) while Number 1 was a school, Number 2 was drawing at the kitchen table and Number 3 was in the sling.  It is fuss-free and leaves very little to be washed up afterwards. There is no kneading, rolling out, cutting or piping required. And did I mention that it can be prepared a day ahead of being eaten, serves 6 to 8 people and tastes delicious?

Pavlova:
3 egg whites
150g sugar
2 heaped dsps cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cider vinegar or wine vinegar
Custard Filling:
40g custard powder
2 dsps sugar
500ml milk
100g really good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

This really couldn’t be handier to make. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C and line two baking trays with baking parchment. 
Whisk the egg whites till stiff. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, making sure that the sugar crystals have dissolved before adding the next spoonful. Once all the sugar has been added and there are no specks of crystal visible, fold in the cocoa powder and the vinegar. 
Spread half of the mixture into a circle shape of 18-20 cm diameter on each of the baking trays and bake for 50 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the pavlova in there to cool for an hour. Then remove it from the oven to finish cooling. 
If you are making this a day in advance of eating, then leave the pavlovas on the baking parchment after they have cooled fully, fold it around them, stack them and wrap tightly in clingfilm. Then place the pavlovas carefully somewhere where they will not get damaged before being used.
To make the filling, prepare custard with 500 ml of milk according the the instructions on the pack. I usually make custard in the microwave as it leaves no mess and is very quick. Once the custard is made, melt the dark chocolate and pour it into the custard. Beat it well with a whisk to combine the two. Then cover the surface of the custard with a sheet of greaseproof papaer or baking parchment to prevent a skin developing. Leave to cool but do not refrigerate unless you are making the custard a day in advance of assembling and eating the cake.
To assemble, place one pavlova on a flat plate or cake stand. Whisk the chocolate custard well until it is smooth and creamy. Spread all the custard onto the pavlova. Top with the second pavlova. Just before serving, sieve icing sugar over the top. 
If there are leftovers, they make the perfect mid-morning treat with a cuppa the next day. Ultra squidgy – you need the cuppa to wash it down.

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