1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
Garnish: whole fresh strawberries with stems and chopped fresh strawberries
How to Make It
Pavlovas: Preheat oven to 225°. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 6 (4-inch) hearts on each piece of parchment paper. Turn paper over; secure each with masking tape.
Whisk together 1 ½ cups granulated sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Beat egg whites at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using whisk attachment, 1 minute or until foamy; add cream of tartar and salt, beating until blended. Add sugar mixture, 2 Tbsp. at a time, beating until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves. (Do not overbeat.) Beat in food coloring gel and vanilla.
Gently spoon or pipe egg white mixture onto hearts drawn on parchment paper, spreading to cover each heart completely.
Bake at 225° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until hearts have formed a crust. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in oven, with door closed, 2 to 10 hours.
Strawberry Sweet Cream: Beat 1 ½ cups heavy cream and vanilla extract at low speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add ⅓ cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat or cream will be grainy). Gently fold in 1 cup chopped strawberries. Gently spoon whipped cream over tops of hearts.
Microwave chopped chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl on HIGH 1 ½ minutes, or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle chocolate over hearts and garnish with strawberries, if desired.