Chocolate Pavlova with Mascarpone Cream & Raspberries & Almonds
Total delight for all – not just our “Gluten Free” team…. Such a popular and gorgeous dessert, this pavlova has a crisp shell and a soft centre and can be made in different flavours by substituting the cocoa powder – Sandy
- 6 large egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 1½ cups pure icing sugar or castor sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Can be substituted for different flavours)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 60 gms bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Can be substituted for different flavours)
- 1 cup marscapone cheese, cold
- 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups fresh raspberries
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated or shaved into curls (optional)
- ½ cup toasted flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 150C (300°F).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a dark marker, draw a 9-inch diameter circle on the parchment paper by tracing around a 9-inch cake pan or plate. Flip the paper over so your meringue won’t touch the marker.
- Or, Line the base and sides of springform cake tin – (Sandy)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy soft peaks form, about a minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form, 8-9 minutes. (The meringue will be glossy.)
- Pass the cocoa powder through a sieve or sifter and add to the meringue. Add the vinegar and chopped chocolate. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the mixture until well combined. It should be a light mocha colour with no white or brown streaks.
- Secure the parchment paper to the baking sheet by adding a dab of meringue under each corner. Mound the meringue onto the parchment inside the circle. Using the spatula or a butter knife, spread the meringue to fill the circle. Even the top and sides just slightly — it shouldn’t be perfectly smooth or overworked. Place in the oven and cook for 65 to 75 minutes, or until the meringue is puffed and crisp all over, yet still a bit wobbly underneath if you touch the centre. Don’t worry if the top is cracked — that’s normal and it all gets covered with whipped cream in the end. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open, and leave the meringue in the oven to cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes – good to leave it for at least 1½ hours. (The meringue won’t collapse as much if it cools gradually.)
- Before serving, carefully peel the meringue off of the parchment paper (or open the springform cake tin, carefully remove the lining) and place it on a serving platter.
- In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and vanilla until combined. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until it holds soft, pillowy peaks. Do not overbeat; it should not be too stiff or grainy.
- Mound the mascarpone cream onto the meringue and gently spread it out about 1 inch from the edge (don’t worry if the meringue cracks in the process). Top the pavlova with the raspberries and almonds and sprinkle the shaved chocolate over top. Cut the pavlova into wedges, wiping the knife in between slices, and serve
- This pavlova can be made ahead of time – up 12 hours ahead of time. If assembled, keep in the refrigerator.
- It can also be made as a plain Pavlova by using “Corn” Flour in place of un-sweetened cocoa.
The cocoa powder, and for different flavours – corn flour, almond meal etc – help to minimise the moisture that can be lost from a pavlova in very humid weather. – Sandy