Suitcase Foodist

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova | Suitcase Foodist

Rhubarb is always my harbinger of spring.  When it shows up, I know that it is time to start planting my garden and switch from dark beers to gin cocktails.

It is also one of those blink-and-you-miss-it kind of ingredients.  There have been years when I didn’t snatch it up right away when it appeared in my local market.  It inevitably meant that I was SOL until the next go around.  I’ve since learned my lesson.  Rhubarb season means that I grab it when I see it – generally before I even have a plan for it.  In years past I’ve made a point of preserving it somehow – like in this Rhubarb Shrub (which is one of our most popular recipes BTW).

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova | Suitcase Foodist

However, I’ve been suffering (is that the word I want?) from a bit of a chocolate craving recently so I decided to make something chocolatey to go with the naturally tangy-sweet rhubarb.  Since Greg can’t do dairy terribly well, I’m always looking for desert options that don’t involve milk, cream, cheese, yogurt, butter, etc etc.  And I’ve been dying to try a pavlova ever since I saw one at a bakery I frequent.

Pavlovas are basically giant free form meringues – where the outside is crisp and the inside is chewy.  It can be portioned out or sliced like a cake and is just plain delicious and airy.  Best part? They are easily made in minimal time without any complicated equipment.

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova | Suitcase Foodist

This particular version is a riff on Nigela’s version of a chocolate pavlova.  But I cut the amount of sugar in half (yes, half!) because I really didn’t want an overly sweet pavlova to overpower the rhubarb.  I also added a chocolate extract and some pomegranate molasses – both of which are current ingredients that I’m geeking out over.  Pomegranate molasses adds a nice tang, while the chocolate extract makes everything just that much more magically chocolatey.  Both are optional, but really, I’d opt in if I were you…

This particular pavlova is layers of chocolate meringue (with cocoa, chocolate extract, & dark chocolate bits), whipped cream (go for this vegan version if you are doing dairy-free), and both rhubarb compote + rhubarb syrup to top it off.  It is great for entertaining since you can prepare all the elements individually and assemble right before serving.  Which is totally the way to go.

Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova | Suitcase Foodist


You can slice this pavlova up like a cake, or you can just spoon out portions, which is 100% what I did.  Enjoy with a rhubarb shrub soda or gin & rhubarb cocktail.

Rhubarb Shrub for Cocktails & Soda by Suitcase Foodist

I had some purple sage in my garden that just seemed to BELONG in this drink – along with a splash of gin and a pour of club soda

Rhubarb Chocolate Pavlova


    Chocolate Pavlova:
  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1 cups Caster Sugar
  • 1 heavy pinch Salt
  • 1/4 cup high-quality Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp Chocolate Extract (you may sub vanilla extract or skip this entirely if you want)
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Pomegranate Molasses (optional, but delicious)
  • 3 tbsp Dark Chocolate, chopped fine
  • Sweet Rhubarb Compote + Rhubarb Syrup
  • 5-6 Stalks Rhubarb, sliced into 2" pieces
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses (optional, but delicious again)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream


    For the Pavlova:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 9" springform or cake pan with parchment paper to cover the bottom of the pan. I've found that it is easiest if I take out the base of the pan, trace it and cut out the circle just inside the line.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. It should look pillowy and fluffy.
  3. Add the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and continue mixing, adding more sugar until the entire amount is incorporated. The merengue will be dense, glossy and very smooth.
  4. Sift the cocoa onto the top of the merengue. Add the chocolate extract, balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and dark chocolate. With a flexible spoon or spatula, gently fold the ingredients together being careful not to stir or mix vigorously as this will deflate the air from the merengue. Don't worry about perfectly incorporating everything, a few streaks are OK.
  5. You can skip the chocolate extract if you don't have any on hand or substitute vanilla extract. You can also skip the pomegranate molasses - if you must. It is a bit of a specialty ingredient and I don't want you to miss out on this recipe if you don't have it. BUT, don't skip the vinegar. Something about the acid helps the merengue hold.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the springform pan lined with parchment. Put the pan into the oven on a center rack. Turn down the heat to 300 degrees. Right away.
  7. Close the door, set a timer for 60 minutes and do not open the door to check on it. You run the risk of it falling if you do. The pavlova will be done when it looks crisp and dry, but when you nudge the top it will give just a bit. It may take anywhere from 60 - 90 minutes depending on humidity in the air, the phase of the moon, the heat of your oven and the whim of the baking gods.
  8. Turn off the oven, crack the door and let the pavlova cool inside the oven. You can let it sit for up to 24 hours. Cracks are natural and I think make your pavlova look just that much more interesting.
  9. For the Sweet Rhubarb Compote + Rhubarb Syrup
  10. Add the fresh rhubarb slices, sugar, water and pomegranate molasses to a sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar-water boils.
  11. Reduce the heat to medium low, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb stalks are soft and have released their juice. About 15 minutes.
  12. Strain the softened, cooked rhubarb in a fine mesh sieve saving all the juice in a bowl. Return the juice to the sauce pan, over medium low heat.
  13. Reduce the juices until they are thick and syrupy - being careful to adjust the heat to keep it from burning. This will take 10 - 12 minutes.
  14. Set aside the Sweet Rhubarb Compote and the Rhubarb Syrup in separate containers.
  15. To Assemble:
  16. Place the chocolate pavlova on a serving platter. Blend the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  17. Dollop the whipped cream into the center of the pavlova right before serving. Mound the rhubarb compote in the center of the cream and drizzle the entire pavlova with the rhubarb syrup.
  18. Serve immediately in slices.

This post is a part of my friend Becky’s Eat Seasonal series. Her blog, The Vintage Mixer is full of great, fresh, seasonal recipes.  So many reasons to focus on eating quality in-season produce… to save money, to get the freshest produce, for sustainability but most of all everything just tastes better!

Check out these posts from a bunch of my food blogger crushes with great recipes for seasonal eating!

Roasted Rhubarb Crazy Berry Meringues by Letty’s Kitchen

Polenta with Asparagus, Pancetta and a Poached Egg by Vintage Mixer

Baked Cauliflower Casserole with Goat Cheese by Cookin’ Canuck

Date-Sweetened Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie by JoyFoodSunshine

Sea Salt Focaccia with Radish Ramp Butter by Simple Bites

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Tempeh Power Salad {vegan} by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Halloumi Salad with Beets and Blackberries by Kitchen Confidante

Spring Farro Salad with Feta, Lemon, and Mint by Flavor the Moments

Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Peppers by Foodie Crush

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Arugula and Chickpeas by Aggie’s Kitchen

Radish and Asparagus Breakfast Bowls by Food for My Family

Hummus and Salad Flatbread Pizza by Completely Delicious

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Spring Quinoa Salad by Floating Kitchen

6 thoughts on “Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlova

  1. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Pavlovas are such a wonderfully elegant dessert. This would be perfect for Mother’s Day. I need to try your rhubarb shrub, too. I always have a ton and that would be a great use for it!

  2. marcie@flavorthemoments

    Pavlovas are so delicious — I haven’t had one in ages. I’ve never tried rhubarb and chocolate together and I’ll bet it’s divine!

  3. Letty Flatt

    I am excited to try this pavlova–hello chocolate! Smart to cut the sugar in half–usually pavlovas are wicked sweet. Love the addition of pomegranate molasses–I bet it helps brighten the rhubarb color too.

  4. Anne Martinez

    I’ve had exactly one Pavlova in my life-too sweet! You’ve inspired me to try my second8~D Love your blog!