Chocolate pavlova

Preparation time:
25 mins
Cooking time:
120 mins


6 x 59g eggs, separated
Pinch cream of tartar
1²⁄³ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve:300ml thickened cream
2 tsp cocoa, sifted
60g chocolate, finely grated

- A cooked, cooled, unfilled pavlova can be stored in a covered, airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
- It’s best to fill pavlova just prior to serving as the meringue softens when standing.


1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm-diameter circle on the paper. To separate the eggs, open the egg over a bowl, and tip the yolk back and forth between the shell halves, allowing the eggwhite to drip into the bowl. Ensure there’s no yolk in the whites because this prevents proper aeration. Put eggwhites and cream of tartar in a clean, dry bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

2. Add the sugar to the eggwhite mixture, 1 spoonful at a time, beating between each addition. Beat for 5-10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth, stiff and glossy.

3. Sift cocoa and cornflour into a bowl. Add sifted mixture, vinegar and vanilla to the eggwhite mixture, then use a metal spoon to fold in until just combined. Spoon mixture onto circle on the prepared tray, forming into a mound.

4. Smooth the pavlova with a spatula. Make decorative grooves around the sides, then smooth the top again. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 120°C. Bake for a further 1 hour and 40 minutes or until shell is pale and crisp. Turn off the oven and cool pavlova in oven with the door ajar. Stand at room temperature until cold.

5. Put the pavlova on a plate. Put the thickened cream and cocoa in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Spoon the cream mixture on top of the pavlova, and sprinkle with the grated chocolate.

- Use leftover egg yolks to make custards or mayonnaise.
- Cream of tartar helps to stabilise the egg so it beats well for an extended time without breaking down.
- Separate the eggs when cold as they will divide more easily. Beat the whites after they have been sitting at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
- Always separate eggs, one at a time, into a separate bowl. This way, if yolk falls into the white then only one egg needs to be thrown away.
- Make sure the mixing bowl and whisk are clean, dry and free of grease. This is important if you are to beat optimum air into the eggwhites.
- Do not whip the eggwhites past the point of being glossy and firm as they may separate into small clumps.
- Dark Dutch-style cocoa was used for this recipe. It’s available in packets from selected supermarkets. You can use your favourite brand of cocoa.
- Only use caster sugar when making pavlova as larger-grain sugars will not completely dissolve. (The liquid run-off from the cooked pavlova is actually the melted, undissolved sugar.)

- Once you have beaten the pavlova mixture, you must mould it into shape and bake it immediately. If it is left to stand, the air beaten into the eggwhites will be released, resulting in a flat, chewy pavlova.


  • Author:

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