Chocolate Pavlova

Time to Cook: 
70-90 minutes
Time to Prepare: 
15 minutes
Number of Servings: 
8
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Pavlova is definitely one of the easiest and impressive looking holiday desserts to create.  You probably have most of the ingredients already in your fridge, and they can even be made a day ahead and stored so all you'd have to do for a holiday party is whip some cream and top them with fresh fruit. A little different from their cousins the meringue, pavlova contains cornstarch, which causes them to have a softer, marshmallow like interior rather than being crisp all the way through. With chocolate in this recipe, the middle becomes a soft, if not slightly chewy, brownie-like texture that is truly delicious. The cream tempers the sweetness and fruit adds some decadence. 

Separating the eggs is easiest when they are cold, and you can use the yolks to make ice cream or toss into homemade pudding. Leave the whites on the counter for about 20 minutes to bring them to room temperature. 

Showy and yet easy to make, pillowy pavlova topped with cream and fruit is a showstopper dessert.

Ingredients

6 egg whites, room temperature

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 Tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder (in Canada, Fry’s is good)

2 tsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

whipping cream

4 cups fresh fruit and berries


Directions

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a marker or pencil, draw four 4 inch circles on each. Turn the paper over so that the side with the ink is against the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 275 F.
 
2. In a clean, grease free bowl whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat at high speed until stiff peaks form when you lift up the beaters. The whites will become thick and glossy as you beat them.
 
3. Sift the cocoa and cornstarch into the egg whites and gently fold in, before quickly folding in the vanilla and balsamic vinegar. Place a large dollop of the mixture in the center of each circle you drew. You don’t want to spread it out too much. Form a bit of a well in the center of each.
 
4. Bake the pavlovas for 70-90 minutes, until they are dry on the outside. Remove from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. When they are fully cooled, serve by topping with whipping cream and fruit.
 
You can keep the plain pavlovas (without cream and fruit),  in an airtight container for up to one day before topping them and serving. Once you have topped the pavlovas with fruit and whipping cream, serve within 30 minutes.
 
Adapted from Back to Baking