Last week I shared this recipe for Balsamic Roasted Strawberries, and promised you a special dessert making good use of them…well here she is! This Roasted Strawberry Pavlova Cake is the loveliest of lovelies.
You’ll typically see pavlovas as a single serving kind of dessert. Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, probably because the cloud-like meringue shell resembles a poofy tutu, pavlovas are one of my favorite desserts. Light yet luxurious, and a textural delight.
While you can certainly adapt this recipe to make individual pavlovas, I decided to go big and made a cake version! This pavlova cake is constructed of four layers of crisp vanilla meringue that give way to a soft chew. In between you’ll find swoops of whipped coconut cream swirled with jammy balsamic roasted strawberries and a bright strawberries sauce. Piled on top are fresh plump strawberries and coconut chips.
The beauty of this dessert is that it is so versatile. You can adorn it with whatever fruit you desire, but I think it is the perfect canvas to showcase the candy-sweet strawberries coming back in season.
As far as the cream filling goes, I considered making this with regular whipped cream – which you could absolutely do for a more classic berries and cream vibe – but I remembered how much I enjoyed the coconut cream in this Eton Mess (which had similar components of berries, cream, and meringue) and decided to go the coconut (and dairy free) route. Either way you’ll have a creamy dreamy filling to work with!
As for the meringue layers, they are the key to all that great texture you’ll get in this cake. Just whisk that egg white mixture up to firm peaks (you can tell they’re done when you lift up the whisk and it holds a stiff, pointy tip), and then pipe out your circles.
On the last circle, pipe another layer just around the circumference so you create a little well. This will be the top layer of the cake and that well will be filled with berry goodness.
A low slow bake in the oven will leave your meringue layers crisp and dry on the outside and chewy, almost marshmallow-like on the inside. Like I said, a textural delight!
Once you have all the components together, the assembly starts: meringue, coconut cream, strawberries, syrup, repeat.
Don’t be overwhelmed with the number of steps in this recipe. It’s all worth it, and all of the components of this cake can be made ahead of time for easy assembly, which also makes this a great dessert for entertaining. Plus, it’s just so darn pretty!
You’ll be berry pleased you made this.
This pavlova cake is the loveliest of lovelies. Light yet luxurious, and a textural delight, you’ll be berry pleased you made this. (Gluten Free + Dairy Free)
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch, sifted
- 1 pint (8 oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 14 oz can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (Recommended: Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream)
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- Fresh strawberries, whole and sliced
- Toasted coconut chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place all ingredients onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and toss to combine. Spread the strawberries out evenly. Roast until soft and jammy, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a container and let cool.
- Adjust the oven to 250 F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, whisk together egg whites, salt, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar on medium high speed until medium peaks form. Slowly add sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form. Fold in cornstarch.
- Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag or Ziplock bag. Use scissors to cut an opening about ½-inch in diameter. On the lined baking sheets, pipe the mixture in a spiral, forming four 9-inch circles. You should be able to fit two circles on each baking sheet.
- On the last circle, pipe another layer just around the circumference so you create a little wall surrounding a well. This will be the top layer of the cake.
- Bake until meringues are crisp on the outside but their consistency resembles marshmallow on the inside, about 1 hour.
- Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight so that the cream solidifies and separates from the water.
- Flip the can upside down and open the can. Since all the cream rises to the top, the water will be at the bottom. Opening from the bottom will let you drain it off easily! Pour off the liquid (drink it straight up or save it for a smoothie!).
- Spoon out the hardened cream into a large mixing bowl. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar. Whisk together until you get smooth, soft peaks.
- In a small saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and continue to cook, using a wooden spoon to stir and mash the mixture every so often, until strawberries are soft and have released most of their juice, about 10 minutes. If the mixture gets too thick, add a bit of water until the consistency is loose enough to drizzle. Chill until ready to use (makes about 1 cup).
- Take a meringue circle and spread a quarter of the coconut cream on top. Spread a quarter of the roasted strawberries and a drizzle strawberry sauce on top. Repeat with the remaining meringue layers, saving the one with the well for the top layer.
- Garnish the top layer with whole and sliced fresh strawberries and coconut chips.
- Chill the pavlova cake before serving (if you freeze it, you’ll get cleaner cuts). Garnish plates with any leftover strawberry sauce.
Make Ahead Notes: All the components of this cake can be made ahead of time for easy assembly. The roasted strawberries can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the fridge. The meringues can also be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in an airtight ziplock/container. The strawberry sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge. The coconut cream can be made 1-2 weeks in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will firm up, but you can just re-whip it when you need it.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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