Chocolate Chocolate Pavlova with Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries, and Melted Dark Chocolate {recipe}


I made a pavlova.

And I might not need to make another dessert ever again.

chocolate pavlova layers ice creams and fresh strawberries and raspberries
Pavlovas are a crisp meringue base typically spread with fluffy whipped cream, sometimes curd (I hate this word almost as much as I hate the word “moist”), and topped with fresh fruit. But really, is anything ever “typical” anymore? We’ve seen every component of a pavlova take on different variation, from coffee and chocolate flavored meringue bases, to other fluffy cream-like spreads and mousses, to every kind of fresh fruit, fruit compote, nuts, and even herbs.

As fitting as the original version is for summer, with the lightness of whipped cream and fresh fruit, we thought we’d swap out the whipped cream for the quintessential creamy dreaminess of summer, ice cream. What we’ve ended up with is something that tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry: two chocolate meringues with chocolate chunks inside, layered with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and raspberry ice creams, fresh super summer-ripe strawberries, and warm, melted chocolate sauce.
chocolate pavlova layers ice creams and fresh strawberries and raspberries

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ice Cream Pavlova is the perfect kind of show-stopping dessert for a group or a party. Just have all the components separate and ready to assemble just before serving. The meringues can be baked days in advance if kept cool and dry, slice the berries, and you can even scoop the ice cream and keep the frozen as scoops until serving time.

But if the ice cream gets a little melty…

chocolate pavlova layers ice creams and fresh strawberries and raspberries

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Pavlova with Ice Cream, Strawberries, and Melted Dark Chocolate Sauce {recipe}

Makes one double-layer pavlova, enough for 1 (!) – 10 people

Check the “Notes and Resources” section that follows for technique tips, ingredient brands, stores/where to buy.


Ingredients for the Pavlova Meringue Base:
6 large egg whites
1½ cups superfine sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

Ingredients for the Finished Pavlova:
1 pint chocolate ice cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint strawberry ice cream
1 pint raspberry sorbet
1 basket super summer-ripe strawberries, sliced into halves
chocolate sauce for drizzling
optional: nuts. but why.


Make the Pavlova’s Meringue Base: Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a large baking sheet. Draw two 8-inch diameter circles with pencil on the parchment. (If two circles don’t fit, make each meringue base layer on a separate baking sheet.) Turn the paper over on the baking sheet so that the pencil drawn circle side in down.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and shiny peaks form. Beat in superfine sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until stiff, shiny peaks form off the beaters and in the bowl.

Sprinkle sifted cocoa, balsamic vinegar, and chopped chocolate over the beaten egg whites in the bowl, then gently fold until everything is incorporated.

Divide and spoon the chocolate meringue between the two circles on the parchment paper, spreading it to just about ½-inch inside the pencil mark; the meringue will spread during baking We learned this the first time when our two meringue layers spread and stuck to each other. Try to make the edges ever so slightly higher (like a rim) to hold in the fillings later.

Place the baking sheets in the pre-heated oven, then turn the temperature down to 300º. Bake the meringues until they are dry to the touch, about 1 hour. Turn off the heat, prop open the oven door, and allow the meringues to cool down completely inside the oven.

The cooled meringues can be stored in an air tight container in a cool, dry place for a couple of days.

Assemble the Pavlova: Place one chocolate meringue on a serving platter, with rimmed edges to catch any melted ice cream if desired. Place small scoops of the different ice cream in a single layer on top. Place the second meringue layer on top, adding another layer of ice cream scoops. Top with fresh sliced strawberries, then drizzle with chocolate sauce or hot fudge.

Serve immediately. No part of this dessert can be stored once it is assembled so eat all of it.

Notes and Resources

  1. Best if egg whites are room temperature and the mixing bowl is very cold, and clean of any kind of oil/grease (like yolk or oil from your hands)
  2. Vital Farms Eggs for the pavlova in these photos. They are available at Whole Foods Markets and slightly higher-end grocery stores.
  3. Superfine sugar is different from confectioner’s/powdered sugar (which contains cornstarch). If you can’t find super-fine sugar, just make it at home by processing it in a food processor or blender for about three minutes on medium speed. Careful when you process it, it will give off a sugar “dust” that you don’t want to inhale.
  4. Unsweetened cocoa: use any  organic, unsweetened cocoa, not “hot cocoa mix” or whatever.
  5. Balsamic vinegar: I have no idea what this is for. Color? Chemistry? But it’s in there, and since it’s so weird, it must be important.
  6. I bought super-ripe, super-sweet (red inside!) strawberries from the farmers’ market the morning of the day we served the Pavlova. If your berries are slightly underripe or not as sweet, slice them, toss them slices with a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for an hour or two. The strawberries will weep out their juices and make a sweet “sauce” with the sugar,; you can pour the entire thing over the ice cream for the final product.
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nathailieee February 12, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Oh la la! This is my idea of food heaven. Oh oh yes please give me one give me two. Just yum. Meringue melting in my mouth with delicious ice cream. To me this is more a summery dessert but because it is just to me one of the ultimate ones I might maki it sooner :) thank you so much for this beautiful recipe and inspiration! :)


2 Paulina Urbańczyk August 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Love it !


3 Baltaire August 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm

This looks incredible, nice work!


4 madinnyc July 4, 2018 at 5:26 am

Looks yummy and I want to try it next weekend for my husband’s birthday. Question though — you said preheat over to 350 and then turn it down to 350. Did you mean 250?


5 TheDelicious July 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Hi madinnyc! Thanks for catching that typo! It was meant to be turned down to 300! Made the edit in the post. Thank you!!! Happy to hear that you’re going to make it! Let us know how it turns out!


6 madinnyc July 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for your prompt response!
Will do.

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