A pavlova is always a beautiful centrepiece for every celebration. This chocolate pavlova with whipped cream and raspberries will impress anyone who sees it. It’s a pretty dessert for Christmas, New Year’s Eve or any other special event.
I love pavlovas, they’re uncomplicated and impressive. I’ve made a classic pavlova before with berries as well as another pavlova with almonds and hazelnuts. They always look stunning on the table. This chocolate pavlova is crispy on the outside and on the inside it’s like a marshmallow. It’s delightful to eat and the combination with raspberries is perfect. To make the pavlova’s base ahead of time, you can make the pavlova 2 days before and leave it at room temperature. On the same day of eating it, you can make the whipped cream and top the pavlova, up to 6 hours before serving. This is so the pavlova doesn’t get wet from the whipped cream. The raspberries do need to go on top so that they don’t lose juice.
Raspberries are a perfect match for this chocolate pavlova. The mix of chocolate and raspberries never fails to succeed because it adds that lovely tang that elevates the chocolate flavour. If you can’t get fresh raspberries, don’t use frozen ones because they will quickly melt and leave a mess on your cream. In this case, you can use strawberries, cherries, blueberries or any other berry you love.
To make this chocolate pavlova I use swiss meringue. There are hot spots that you’ll have to bear in mind when making meringue. The first thing is that to get a stable meringue, you have to use double the weight of the egg whites in sugar. That means that if your egg whites weigh 240g, your sugar should be twice that: 480g. The next important part for swiss meringue is that the egg whites and sugar go onto a bain-marie to dissolve the sugar. You’ll be mixing every 10 minutes approximately with a whisk while over medium-low heat. When you can insert your finger and touch the base of the bowl and there are no sugar granules left and it’s very hot (it should almost burn), it’s ready. Idealy though, you should use a food thermometer to make sure that the temperature has reached 79C/174F. As soon as they reach this point, beat the meringue until it cools down completely. After this, we add the other ingredients to make it a chocolate pavlova.
For the Pavlova
- 8 egg whites
- double the weight of the egg whites in sugar
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 10 tbsp cocoa powder 100% cacao
For the toppings
- 250 ml whipping cream (cold)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 250 g raspberries
For the Pavlova
- Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl you’ll use to whip them up later.
- Place the bowl in a bain marie on medium heat without the water touching the base of the bowl.
- Use a whisk to move the egg whites every couple of minutes, trying also to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Remove it from the heat when you put your finger inside and don't feel any granules of sugar left. Be particularly careful to check the bottom of the bowl. Alternatively, if you have a food thermometer, check that the temperature has reached 79°C/174°F, this is the most precise way to do it.
- Beat on high speed until the egg whites come to room temperature.
- Add the lime juice and mix. Then add the cornstarch and cocoa powder and mix into the egg whites.
- Draw a circle at the back of baking paper using a pencil that is a bit smaller to the plate or cake stand you’ll be using later to present it in. This will help you to stay within that diameter.
- Stick the tips of the paper to the baking tray using a bit of the meringue.
- Put the meringue at the centre of the circle you drew and spread it around using a spoon, forming a center at the centre as you go. Check out the video for further reference.
- You can leave it like this for a rustic look or go around with a spatula to flatten it and then use the tip to add some texture.
- Take to a preheated oven at 100°C/210°F for 1.5 hours.
- Leave to cool down inside the oven to prevent cracking (some cracking is completely normal). This will take 4-6 hours.
For the toppings
- Whip up the cream just with the icing sugar until you have a nice, soft texture. Do this right before serving.
- Put the cream in the Pavlova's cavity and top with raspberries. I also finished it by dusting some extra icing sugar.