My son turned 20 last week. Time flies fast indeed. He used to quote that expression a lot by the way as a very young boy. “Time flies fast, Mama. Especially when I am having fun.” Well, that young boy then is now a fine young man. Except of course for the obvious physical changes (man, he has grown really tall!), there are some things which are still the same about him. I know I will sound like I am bragging but hey, I am a proud mother to this affectionate and level-headed boy (yes, I will always call him “boy” I guess). We still talk (thank goodness) and still like same things in food. We used to have our mother and son Friday date after school when he was in primary. We would try every new café treats in our neighbourhood and talk about stuff. I still get to enjoy café dates with him when he is not busy with university stuff and appreciate the fact that he makes an effort to “fit” me in his schedule. Talk about being a social butterfly like his mother! In our family, we are practical when we do birthdays. We celebrate whenever the schedule permits. Yesterday, I made him his favourite dessert – pavlova. This is one of three dishes he really loves since he was a young boy and would request for me to bake on his birthday. Seriously, how can anyone not like layers of chocolate, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and meringue discs? It’s like dessert heaven!
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
- 140g baking chocolate ( you can use milk, bittersweet or dark according to your liking. We prefer dark)
- 600ml thickened cream, whipped
- 1/4 cup water
- Cocoa powder, for dusting
- 500g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Preheat oven to 150C degrees.
- Line three baking trays each with a baking paper. Trace a 20cm or 22cm diameter circle on each paper.
- In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peak forms. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is thick and glossy
- Divide mixture into three parts, filling each prepared trays with the mixture. Spread it to fill inside of traced circles.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until pale and crisp. Turn oven off and leave meringue to cool in the oven with door ajar.
- In a small pan over very low heat, mix water and chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and leave to cool, until just thick but still spreadable.
- Spread top of two meringue discs with chocolate. Let is set for a couple of minutes.
- Place one disc with chocolate on a serving plate. Top with a third of the whipped cream. Top with some sliced strawberries.
- Place disc with chocolate on top and layer with whipped cream and strawberries.
- Place remaining disc on top. Spread with last third of whipped cream. Top with strawberries.
- Keep in fridge until ready to serve. Best to let it set in the fridge for half an hour and let the flavours develop.
- Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.