A pavlova is actually one of my go-to desserts when entertaining. It looks festive and elegant, it’s easy to prepare in advance and it’s light enough to serve after an extensive meal. And most importantly: I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love pavlova. That crunchy, feathery light sweet base filled with luscious whipped cream and fresh fruit is always a winner.
Sometimes I go for a mini variation and make pretty individual pavlovas. This version with dark chocolate and sweet plump raspberries is one of my ultimate favorites.
Even better: you can make three different desserts using the one easy basic pavlova recipe you find below. Mini pavlova’s, a festive layered pavlova and an easy Eton mess. The only real difference is in the styling and presentation. Because it’s all about the little things!
1. Mini Chocolate Pavlovas with Cream and Raspberries
Lay one chocolate pavlova per person on a plate. Dollop a scoop of whipped cream on the bases, then add a handful of raspberries and serve straight away.
2. Mini Layered Chocolate & Raspberry Pavlova
Place one pavlova on a plate. Dollop a scoop of whipped cream in the middle, sprinkle over some raspberries and carefully place a second pavlova on top. Repeat with another dollop of whipped cream, some raspberries and a third pavlova. Finish with extra cream and a handful of raspberries on top. Serve immediately.
3. Chocolate & Raspberry Eton Mess
Crumble one chocolate pavlova per person into small pieces. Fill elegant serving bowls or glass jars with the whipped cream, then add the crumbled pavlova and raspberries. Mix quickly with a spoon for a rippled effect and serve immediately.
2 egg whites
½ cup (100 g) white sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
a drop of vinegar
0.7 oz (20 g) dark chocolate (at least 70%), finely chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) cream
1½ cup (200 g) fresh raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
2. Whisk the egg whites with some salt in a very clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and mix well. The meringue mixture should be glossy and firm.
3. Quickly mix in the cacao powder, vinegar and dark chocolate with a spatula until everything is combined.
4. Form six mini pavlovas on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Put them into the preheated oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 300F (150C). Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Turn the oven off and let the pavlovas cool down in the turned-off oven.
6. Meanwhile, whip the cream until it’s thick and luscious. I find this easier when I add a tablespoon of powdered sugar.
Note: Prepare the pavlovas at least two hours in advance. They should be completely cool before topping. You can easily make the bases up to two days ahead. Perfect for busy days!