Strawberry pavlova with white chocolate mousse

Layers of crisp meringue, fresh strawberries and white chocolate mousse

I’m back from a long weekend of gluttony in Montreal the details of which I’ll share in another post, but first I wanted to follow up on the promise to deliver a strawberry recipe. This is my interpretation of the most delicious dessert I’ve ever eaten. It was served for dessert as part of our seven course “gourmet menu” at Restaurant Toqué in Montreal.

Since my first visit over 5 years ago, I’ve held Chef Normand Laprise’s cuisine in the highest regard. I’ve even called Toqué my favourite restaurant of all time. Since that first visit though, I’ve had the opportunity to try many wonderful restaurants and I worried that I’d be disappointed on my return. That concern was quickly put to rest after a course or two and I walked out practically glowing. While every course struck the perfect balance between creative and delicious, the dessert was the real humdinger.

It was a bowl of fresh strawberries covered with a white chocolate foam, crumbled meringue flakes, aerated maple candy and topped with a scoop of strawberry sorbet. It was sweet, tart, creamy, fluffy, refreshing, fruity, cool and crisp all at the same time. Definitely something that would be a part of my last meal on Earth.

With this version, you get thin layers of crisp meringue with rich creamy dollops of white chocolate mousse and maple sweetened strawberries. It’s not quite the same, but it was simple enough to prepare on a weeknight and almost as tasty.

makes enough for 4

for the meringue
1 egg white
1/4 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

for the mousse
1/2 C heavy cream + 1 1/2 Tbs cream
3 oz good quality white chocolate (I used Callebaut)

for strawberries
1/2 pint strawberries hulled, halved and sliced
1 Tbs grade B maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Whip the egg whites in the bowl of a clean (if there are any oils on your bowl or whisk, the egg whites will not whip) electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a little bit at a time until fully incorporated and the meringue is glossy. Add the vanilla and whip to combine.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and spread the meringue into a very thin even layer. You could also pipe the meringue with a small round tip if you want to make it less rustic looking.

Bake the meringue for about 45 minutes. It’s a bit tough to tell when it’s cooked because it will still feel a little soft even when it’s done (it crisps as it cools). If you bake it too long, it will start to brown, but if you bake it too little you’ll have a soft gooey mess, so if in doubt, leave it in a little longer.

Allow the meringue to cool then gently separate it from the mat. If it breaks it’s fine as you’ll want to break it into smaller pieces anyhow.

While the meringue is in the oven, melt the white chocolate with 1 1/2 Tbs of cream stirring till smooth then let it cool down till it’s lukewarm. Whip the cream until soft peaks are just starting to form. Add the melted white chocolate in 2 additions then whip until the cream holds soft peaks (be careful not to over whip it or you’ll end up with butter). Refrigerate the cream until you’re ready to assemble the pavlovas.

For the strawberries, just clean, hull, halve, then slice them and toss with the maple syrup and lemon juice. You could use any type of maple syrup, but I personally like grade B because it’s darker and has more maple flavour.

To assemble, just put a dab of mousse on the plate to hold the first piece of meringue in place. Top with a dollop of mousse then spoon some strawberries on top. Cover with another piece of meringue, topping with more mousse and strawberries. Finish with a third piece of meringue and top with a bit more mousse and a garnish (I used strawberries sliced in half). Serve immediately as the meringue will start to absorb the liquid and go soft very quickly.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Hey, welcome back Marc! That has to be the classiest incarnation of a Pavlova I’ve ever seen! Well done.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com manggy

    Hey, welcome back Marc! That has to be the classiest incarnation of a Pavlova I’ve ever seen! Well done.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Oh my this is one heck of a dessert…looks boo-te-ful.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Oh my this is one heck of a dessert…looks boo-te-ful.

  • http://www.sugabar.org/ diva

    beautiful interpretation! and love the colours. so simple and classic and elegant. love it! that strawberry that’s sat on top as well has got to be the most perfect strawberry ever — so well proportioned.

    gotta love that mousse.

  • http://www.sugabar.org diva

    beautiful interpretation! and love the colours. so simple and classic and elegant. love it! that strawberry that’s sat on top as well has got to be the most perfect strawberry ever — so well proportioned.

    gotta love that mousse.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    This is really a beautiful version of the classic pavlova…beautiful Marc.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    This is really a beautiful version of the classic pavlova…beautiful Marc.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Aerated? Foam? Ah, restaurant-speak. I definitely like the look of your version. White chocolate is one of my favourite things and those strawberries look perfect :)

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Aerated? Foam? Ah, restaurant-speak. I definitely like the look of your version. White chocolate is one of my favourite things and those strawberries look perfect :)

  • http://www.technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com/ Patricia Scarpin

    It looks so beautiful. And delicious! I love how delicate pavlovas are.

  • http://www.technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com Patricia Scarpin

    It looks so beautiful. And delicious! I love how delicate pavlovas are.

  • http://scalloped-edge.blogspot.com/ Joanna

    This looks AMAZING! I’m not sure I’d quite consider it “whip up on a weekday” material, but for something so stunning, I like that it doesn’t take too long to prepare. Since strawberry season seems to be on its way out, I wonder how a raspberry & dark chocolate combo would be…

  • http://scalloped-edge.blogspot.com Joanna

    This looks AMAZING! I’m not sure I’d quite consider it “whip up on a weekday” material, but for something so stunning, I like that it doesn’t take too long to prepare. Since strawberry season seems to be on its way out, I wonder how a raspberry & dark chocolate combo would be…

  • http://www.canelakitchen.blogspot.com/ Gloria

    Oh My!!! Marc your really kill me with this!!!! look lovely,amazing,tasty, all!!!!! xxGloria

  • http://www.canelakitchen.blogspot.com Gloria

    Oh My!!! Marc your really kill me with this!!!! look lovely,amazing,tasty, all!!!!! xxGloria

  • http://newlywedcooking.blogspot.com/ sharon

    I want to take a big bite of that!! Meringue & strawberries are some of my favorites.

  • http://newlywedcooking.blogspot.com sharon

    I want to take a big bite of that!! Meringue & strawberries are some of my favorites.

  • http://www.saltandchocolate.com/ Katie

    This looks amazing.

  • http://www.saltandchocolate.com Katie

    This looks amazing.

  • http://feistyfoodie.blogspot.com/ Yvo

    Oh. my. gosh! I just moaned out loud a little. I’m not even a dessert person! Please… may I have a taste… darn you…

  • http://feistyfoodie.blogspot.com Yvo

    Oh. my. gosh! I just moaned out loud a little. I’m not even a dessert person! Please… may I have a taste… darn you…

  • http://asoutherngrace.blogspot.com/ grace

    strawberries. white chocolate. i would argue that few things make a better combination. let the drooling commence. :)

  • http://asoutherngrace.blogspot.com grace

    strawberries. white chocolate. i would argue that few things make a better combination. let the drooling commence. :)

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ syrie

    I love this ‘modernised’ pavlova. My mouth is watering as I write this. I can’t bear the fact that I can’t have some right now! Looking forward to hearing more.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ syrie

    I love this ‘modernised’ pavlova. My mouth is watering as I write this. I can’t bear the fact that I can’t have some right now! Looking forward to hearing more.

  • http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/ peabody

    Looks light and refreshing!

  • http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com peabody

    Looks light and refreshing!

  • http://gkbloodsugar.wordpress.com/ Graeme

    Fantastic! You should be very proud of yourself.

  • http://gkbloodsugar.wordpress.com/ Graeme

    Fantastic! You should be very proud of yourself.

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  • http://www.zoebakes.com/ Zoë François

    So whimsical and delicious! Lovely job.

  • http://www.zoebakes.com Zoë François

    So whimsical and delicious! Lovely job.

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  • http://ladiesblendthymes.typepad.com/ Pennie Mills

    This dessert sounds wonderful and looks amazing-many thanks!

  • http://ladiesblendthymes.typepad.com/ Pennie Mills

    This dessert sounds wonderful and looks amazing-many thanks!

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  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    It sounds like a tidy Eton mess :-)
    Let’s do it!

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    It sounds like a tidy Eton mess :-)
    Let’s do it!

  • olivebrannigan@hotmail.com

    I made my pavlova yesterday decorated it covered with cling film and put in the fridge when I took it out today the maraguin was soft How do I prevent this

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Olive, sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. As the recipe says, you need to serve it immediately once you assemble it as meringue will absorb moisture like a sponge making it soft. If you need to make the meringue in advance, don’t assemble it. Just keep the meringue in an airtight container (the moisture in the air will make it go soft), then do the final assembly just before you serve it.

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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