Dark Chocolate Cherry Pavlovas
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes + cooling time
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 5 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Cherry topping
- Chocolate sauce
- Chocolate shavings (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a food processor, pulse sugar for one minute to break down the sugar so it becomes superfine.* Set aside.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and trace 2.5 inch circles (this can be done by tracing the bottom of a drinking glass) on the parchment. Leave 2 inches between the circles so the pavlovas have room to expand. Then, turn the parchment paper over so the traced side is facing down. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue whipping on medium-high heat until they hold stiff peaks. Slowly add in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, at medium speed for five to six minutes until the mixture is glossy and stiff and sugar is completely dissolved.
- To the egg white mixture, add the salt and vanilla and fold in gently just until incorporated. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with any tip you like. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these pavlovas. Using the traced circles as a guide, first pipe a flat circle then pipe a few circles along the edges to create a nest shape.
- Bake the pavlovas for 1 hour and 10 minutes then turn the oven off. Leave in the oven for another hour while it begins to cool down. You can crack the oven door after 30 minutes of the oven being turned off to help the cooling process. After the oven has cooled, remove the pavlovas.
- While the pavlovas are baking/cooling, make the whipped cream. In a clean bowl of a stand mixer, add the heavy cream and sugar and beat with a whisk attachment until firm peaks start to form.
- Assembly: Once the pavlovas are completely cool, spoon a dollop of whipped cream into the center of the pavlovas. Top the cream with a spoonful of cherry topping, drizzle with dark chocolate sauce and shavings of chocolate to finish the presentation.
* Adding the extra step of grating the granulated sugar to make it more fine in texture will help reduce the risk of any grittiness in the pavlovas.