Pavlova with a special touch

  • 4 L-sized egg whites
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp starch
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
Pre-heat the oven to 160 °C. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar little by little, then the vanilla sugar, starch and wine vinegar and stir gently. Drizzle some oil on parchment paper, shape a round mound of the mixture on the parchment and make a well into the mound. Lower the temperature of the oven to 110 °C and put the Pavlova to the oven. Bake for at least 1.5 hours (it took me even longer). When the Pavlova is done, it should be crisp and dry on top. Turn the heat off and allow the cake to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
Melt about 50 g of dark chocolate over a hot-water bath. The bitterer it is and the higher cocoa content it has, the better. Pour the melted chocolate into the well in the meringue. Apart from adding a great taste, the chocolaty layer will act as insulation – without it, the Pavlova would soon become soaked, but the chocolate will form a protective layer between the filling and the meringue. This will help the meringue to preserve its crispiness longer.
Peel and chop about 200 g of rhubarb, grate a few spoonfuls of fresh ginger into it and cook with 1 dl of sugar until the rhubarb is soft and some of the juice has evaporated. Mix the rhubarb jam with 100 g of cream cheese and put into the fridge to cool. Spread the chilled cream cheese mixture over the set layer of chocolate.
Whisk 200 ml of whipping cream with 0.5 dl of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla sugar until rather stiff peaks form. Cover the rhubarb and cream cheese layer with whipped cream and spread a generous amount of strawberries on top. Decorate with lemon balm leaves.