Chocolate Pavlova with Winter Fruit
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours
Pavlova is a New Zealand dessert speciality. This chocolate variation is a marshmallow-like meringue filled with a luscious whipped cream and colorful winter fruits. The recipe for the meringue shell required a lot of testing before we made the one we really loved—with plenty of chocolate, a chewy center, and crispy outer shell. We based ours upon a few wonderful recipes by very talented bloggers, including Simple Bites, and Joy of Baking. (See below for links.)
4 large (120 grams) egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon (3 grams) cornstarch or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 ounces 60–70% dark chocolate, ground finely (see Kitchen Tip #2)
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups assorted fresh winter fruit, such as blood orange segments, navel orange segments, sliced kiwis, pomegranate seeds, sliced persimmon
To make the chocolate meringue:
- Preheat the oven to 225°F convection or 250°F conventional. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, vanilla bean paste, and cream of tartar until soft peaks begin to form.
- Sift together the sugar, cocoa powder, and cornstarch. With the motor running at low speed, add the sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time to the egg whites. Add the vinegar and dark chocolate. Whip until fully incorporated and the egg whites hold a stiff peak (the whip attachment will have a sturdy egg white tail when removed).
- Scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape into a 9- to 10-inch circle with a slightly higher edge. Bake until the outside is dry and starting to crack slightly, 1 to 1½ hours. Turn the heat off and leave the meringue in the oven to cool, about 1 hour.
To make the whipped cream:
- Add the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.
- Place the baked meringue onto a serving platter or cake stand. Spread the whipped cream in the center leaving a 2-inch gap around the edge.
- Arrange the fruit on top and serve immediately.
- The meringue may be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours before filling.
- For best results, use a food processor to finely grind the dark chocolate. Process until the chocolate resembles bread crumbs, 30 to 40 seconds.
- Curious about our inspiration? Here are the links to Simple Bites and Joy of Baking.