xmas month 2021 - chocolate raspberry pavlova

Welcome to week 3 of Xmas month 2021. In Australia Pavlova is a traditional Christmas dessert and this year I decided to make a chocolate pavlova. Pavlova is made from just a few ingredients - egg whites, sugar, cornflour and a little bit of vinegar to create the characteristic marshmallow like interior.


The 70% dark chocolate swirled through the pavlova adds extra sugar to an already sweet dessert, so it's really important to counterbalance all that sweetness with something tart. I think fresh raspberries are the perfect match atop lashings of softly whipped unsweetened cream. If fresh raspberries aren't available where you live, I've given you a recipe for a berry compote which can be made from frozen berries.

As the chocolate pavlova mixture is inclined to spread more than regular meringue, I’ve suggested making a 7 inch pavlova which when baked should make an 8 inch pavlova.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch pavlova. The pavlova recipe was adapted from a recipe from Falafel For Breakfast: Modern Middle Eastern Recipes for the Shared Table from Kepos Street Kitchen by Kristy Frawley and Michael Rantissi. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. 

Chocolate raspberry pavlova – makes an 8 inch pavlova 
120 g (4 oz) 70% dark chocolate
4 egg whites (120g), at room temperature
Pinch salt
220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour

Berry compote (Optional)
200g berries, fresh or frozen
45g (3 tbs) caster sugar
The juice of half a lemon
1-2 tbs water

300 mls thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 punnet raspberries

Preheat the oven to 170°C, conventional. Mark a 7 inch circle onto a sheet of baking paper then turn the paper upside down. Use the paper to line a baking tray. I used the Bakemaster insulated baking sheet from Everten. I like to secure the paper with clips but you can also use a small dollop of the meringue mixture to fix the paper to the baking tray. 

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl. Stir until melted then set aside to cool to room temperature. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a microwave.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and whisk until it forms a thick and glossy meringue and the sugar crystals have all dissolved.  Fold in the vinegar and cornflour and then gently swirl in the melted chocolate.

Spoon the meringue onto the baking tray, using the circle as a guide. Try to build up the walls of the pavlova so that it’s at least 2 inches high as the meringue spreads whilst cooking. Reduce the oven temperature to its lowest setting, place the tray onto the centre rack and bake for 1¼ - 1½ hours or until the pavlova is firm and the base is dry. I like to leave the pavlova in the turned off oven to cool before removing it from the oven and placing it on a wire rack. Once cold it can be stored in an airtight container until it is time to decorate.

Berry compote (optional)
To make the compote, combine all the ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently simmer the mixture for 15-20 minutes. The mixture will have thickened a little and the berries should still hold their shape. Place into a covered bowl and refrigerate until needed. 

To decorate 
In a small bowl whip the cream with the vanilla bean paste until soft peaks form. Carefully remove the baking paper from the pavlova, then place onto a serving plate and decorate the pavlova with the whipped cream and berries. If you like, just before serving you can dollop on some of the berry compote.
Another delicious Christmas dessert which best of all can be made ahead of time then just decorated on the day. 

I'll be back again later this week with another classic dessert for Christmas week.

Until then,
Bye for now,






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