Hello Valentine, treat your special someone to this marvelously textured chocolate pavlova with blackberry sauce. Sift a little cocoa powder into your meringue because Valentine’s Day desserts are all about chocolate. I’m pulling the remainder of my coveted wild blackberries from my freezer to create a sweet and tangy topping. The syrup will float over a pillow of whipped cream filling the crunchy pavlova crust. Don’t you want to sink your fork into this concoction?
chocolate pavlova with blackberry sauce
- Pavlova shell:
- 6 large egg whites
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- Blackberry Sauce:
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice 3 oranges
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 cups fresh berries
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Whip cream:
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, draw a circle at least 9” in circumference on the paper and flip the paper so the pencil lines won’t bleed into your meringue.
Make the meringue by beating the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
Sprinkle the salt, cocoa and vinegar over the egg whites and gently fold everything together with a rubber spatula. You can leave the chocolate swirled or fold until blended.
Shape the pavlova by spooning the mixture into your 9” circle on the baking sheet, or put the meringue into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe it into your circle. Leave a dip in the middle to hold whipped cream and berry syrup.
Place the pavlova in the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 100°F. Bake for 60-90 minutes. When it is done it should look crisp on the top and feel dry, but when you prod the center you should feel some softness.
Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool completely inside the oven, to prevent cracking. Tip: You can leave the meringue in the over overnight.
To prepare berry sauce, combine the orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is translucent and thickened, stir in the berries and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, just until a few berries have softened but most are still whole. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice and cool.
To serve, remove the pavlova from the parchment paper and place on a serving platter. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and add the sugar and vanilla. Spoon the whip cream over the pavlova and then spoon the berry syrup over the top, allowing some to run over the sides.
To simplify this recipe, you can use fresh berries and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar instead of preparing the berry syrup.