I've made no less than three pavlovas previously that I intended to photograph for the blog and for one reason or another, was never able to. But I LOVE pavlovas and I was desperately wanting to share a recipe. So much so that I made my family wait to eat a slice until after I could artfully arrange some egg yolks in an egg carton and snap a few pics.
But I promise it was all worth it. Pavlovas are deceptively delicious. They sorta just look like a lump but they're a cornucopia of textures and flavors!
Yes I said cornucopia. I'm insufferable.
Pavlovas are really nothing more than a giant sliceable meringue. But the beauty of a pavlova is that its size allows the center to retain a fluffy sweet stickiness that a tiny meringue can't do.
Poor little baby meringues.
My favorite way to eat pavlova is with heaping dollops of cold freshly whipped cream and topped with seasonal fruit. In this case, pomegranates. Duh. It's light and refreshing.
But imagine some tart lemon curd in place of whipped cream. Or some sweet juicy jam. That might be next on my list. In this case, some Nutella folded into the whipped cream was just the sweetness I needed to compliment some early season pomegranates. Chocolate is my crutch. I am not ashamed. (I'm insufferable)Here's the recipe!
Cocoa Pavlova with Pomegranates and Nutella Whipped Cream
Approx. 10 servings
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- Seeds from one ripe pomegranate
1. Preheat the oven to 275. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat and set aside.
2. In a (very) clean and dry bowl of stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium high until soft peaks begin to form**. Gently begin sprinkling in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is still running. Continue mixing while adding the sugar, ensuring that the sugar is dissolving as it is added. You should begin to see stiff glossy peaks after all your sugar is added. If your mixture still has soft peaks, continue beating until peaks stiffen.
3. Sprinkle the corn starch and vinegar on your meringue mixture and fold gently with a rubber spatula. Add cocoa powder and fold again until fully dissolved. Lastly, add the vanilla extract and fold again.
4. Now begin spreading the mixture onto your silicon mat in a circular shape. It should be roughly 9 inches in diameter. Make sure the edges of your meringue are slightly higher than the center so you form a small well in the middle.
5. Bake the meringue for 1 hr and 15 mins. It will turn a pale eggshell hue and look cracked and crusty on the outside. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar. Allow the pavlova to cool, still in the oven.
6. Make the Nutella whipped cream: Whip the whipping cream using a stand mixer or handheld mixer (or a lot of elbow grease) until it thickens and forms peaks. Add the Nutella and fold gently to incorporate. Be sure to be gentle and take your time so you don't deflate your peaks.
7. Assemble: Dollop the fresh Nutella whipped cream on top of your cooled pavola. Sprinkle pomegranate on top of whipped cream. Slice and enjoy!
** Fat and grease is the enemy of meringues. To ensure stiff peaks, make sure you're using a very clean and dry mixing bowl and take special care to avoid any yolks in the mixture.