I have a wee dilemma with this recipe. I absolutely love it. It’s chewy and rich and chocolatey and all things nice. When I made it recently though I was told, “You can’t call it pavlova, it’s not a pavlova!” And he had a point, it’s not all light and marshmallowy like this pavlova recipe. It has a denser filling with little chunks of chocolate throughout. However, it is Nigella’s recipe and she calls it pavlova, so who am I to contradict her!
I have made this a few times and for some reason this time it spread a bit more and was a little flatter than usual. Hence the slightly oblong shape! It still tasted great though. I normally top with whipped double cream which is gorgeous. But one day I came across this recipe which paired the pavlova with a mascarpone cream topping. Bingo! I was making a mascarpone cream to go with pancakes the same weekend so I thought I’d just make a big batch and use it for this. This cream is to die for! It does make the pavlova quite rich though so a small slice should be enough. You can always have a second if you disagree.
*I would like more raspberries than are on the picture above but some people in my life think fruit has no place on a dessert! Feel free to cover the top with raspberries if you wish.
*If you are looking for ideas as to what to do with the leftover egg yolks, have a look at this article from The Kitchn.
Adapted from Nigella Summer
Serves approx 8
- 6 large egg whites
- A pinch of salt
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp good quality cocoa powder (I use Green and Blacks or Valrhona)
- 1 tsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 50g dark chocolate drops or a bar finely chopped
For the mascarpone cream
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 50g caster sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Fresh raspberries and grated chocolate to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Make sure your mixing bowl is spotlessly clean and then in a stand mixer or with a hand held one, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff satiny peaks form.
- Then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
- Sieve the cocoa powder onto the meringue mixture and sprinkle over the vinegar and the chocolate drops. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in.
- Pile the mixture on to the baking sheet in a fat circle approx 9 inches in diameter and smooth the sides and top.
- Place it into the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150c/130c fan/gas mark 2 and cook for about one and a quarter hours.
- When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top, but when you gently press the centre with your finger it should feel and little bit squidgy underneath. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue cool completely, preferably overnight.
- Meanwhile, make your mascarpone cream. Beat the mascarpone cheese and sugar together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Then beat in the double cream until it reaches the consistency you want. Gently fold in the vanilla bean paste.
- When you’re ready to serve, peel off the paper and put the meringue on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Carefully dab the cream on top and spread it over the chocolate base. The cream is denser than plain whipped cream so you don’t want to just lob it on or the meringue will collapse.
- Decorate with fresh raspberries and grated chocolate.