Chocolate Pavlova with Winter Fruit

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  10 slices
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  3 hours

Chocolate Pavlova with Winter Fruit

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.)

Ingredients

Chocolate meringue:

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)

Garnishes:

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

Instructions

To make the chocolate meringue:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F convection or 250°F conventional. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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:

  1. Add the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  2. Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.

To assemble:

  1. 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.
  2. Arrange the fruit on top and serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. The meringue may be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours before filling.
  2. For best results, use a food processor to finely grind the dark chocolate. Process until the chocolate resembles bread crumbs, 30 to 40 seconds.
  3. Curious about our inspiration? Here are the links to Simple Bites and Joy of Baking.

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