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Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova - A sublime dessert with a chocolate meringue topped with berries and cream

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

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When you need an impressive dessert, a Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova is the answer! 

This magnificent pavlova is perfect to serve whenever you can find sweet, flavorful raspberries in the market. This dessert is a stunner, so wow your friends and family by presenting this beauty at your next gathering!

Close view of Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova on a white serving plate

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

We had a cookout with dear friends and neighbors coming up and, naturally, I volunteered to bring a dessert.  What to make?  What to make?  Chocolate for Bill, and something ultra decadent. I do have a reputation, you know.

Overhead view of Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova on a white ceramic plate

An Easy, Make Ahead Dessert

Nigella’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova was an instant hit when I first made it many summers ago. A crisp outer meringue juxtaposed with the chewy center was topped with a cloud of whipping cream. It formed the perfect base for mounds of beautiful red raspberries. YUMMY…my decision was made.

I like to make the meringue shell the night before I serve this dessert. After it cools, I just store it in the oven, and top with the whipped cream and berries a few hours before serving. If you do tuck away the pavlova shell in the oven, make sure to put a post it on the door so you don’t accidentally turn on the oven.

The gang oohed and ahhed over this dessert.  Many had never even heard of a pavlova (we had a few pronunciation lessons), let alone tasted one.  Even one guest, who swore he was not a dessert eater (hard for me to fathom), proclaimed its wonders. I know you will, too.

Edge of a Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova topped with chocolate shavings

What is a Pavlova?

Simply put, a pavlova is just a big baked meringue (though you can make mini versions, too). Made of whipped egg whites and sugar, it’s then baked until the outside is crisp and the inside is “squidgy,” a term used by Nigella Lawson for describing the chewy middle. The marshmallow like middle is one characteristic that differentiates a pavlova from a meringue.

Pavlovas are usually topped with cream and fruit and this chocolate raspberry pavlova varies from the classic version due to some cocoa powder and chocolate mixed into the meringue. Of course there are numerous iterations using lemon curd, etc.

There is a debate where the pavlova originated, Australia or New Zealand. Both claim it as their own. The pavlova was developed in honor of Anna Pavlova, the Russian ballerina, who visited the region in the 1920’s.

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova on a white ceramic plate topped with cream, berries and chocolate

Tips for Making a Perfect Pavlova

Many of the tips for making meringues are appropriate for making a pavlova, plus there are some tricks that aren’t used with the small meringue cookies.

The Egg Whites

  • PRO-Tip: First, when collecting your egg whites, make sure no yolk contaminates them and that your bowls and utensils are free from any grease. Even a small speck of egg yolk or oil will prevent the whites from whipping properly.
  • The best practice is to separate each egg into an empty bowl, then pour the white into a larger bowl to whip once you know there’s no yolk contamination. Otherwise, separating over a whole bowl of whites could result in you having to toss them all if some yolk gets dropped in by mistake.
  • Note that eggs separate best when they’re cold.
  • Also important is to let your egg whites come to room temperature. This will also help the sugar mix in properly. I usually sit my bowl of whites in a larger bowl of warm water to take the chill off.`

Making the Meringue

  • I also like to process the sugar in a food processor to make my own extra fine sugar.   This will make it easier for the whites to absorb the sugar.
  • To make your pavlova nice and round, take a 9-inch diameter pan and make an outline of it in the middle of a sheet of parchment paper. Flip the paper over and place it on a baking sheet. This is your template for spreading the meringue.
  • Unlike a true meringue, a pavlova has the addition of vinegar. Just a small amount that won’t affect the flavor but helps make the exterior crisp and center soft. Cream of tartar or corn starch is often added to stabilize the meringue, but not in this recipe.
  • Start adding the sugar when the egg whites are foamy, after about 1 minute of whipping. Add the sugar slowly.
  • The meringue is ready when it’s thick, white and glossy.  Ideally, you won’t want to feel any gritty sugar when you rub some of the meringue between your fingers.

Baking the Palova

  • Scoop out the meringue onto your parchment lined baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread it into a circle, then to make the top level.
  • Bake as directed but let the pavlova cool in the oven with the door open.

Garnishing the Pavlova

  • I used to add a whipped cream stablizer called Whip-It to prevent the whipped cream topping from separating. PRO-Tip: Since I first shared this recipe, I’ve found that placing my mixing bowl in the freezer to chill before whipping the cream will also stabilize the cream.
  • To make chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler and scrape down the flat side of a chocolate bar (see old photo below). For the larger shavings in my photos above, I found a block of Callebaut chocolate at Whole Foods, warmed it very gently in the microwave and peeled larger curls.
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova photo from 2011

This Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe was originally shared in 2011. I’ve updated the photos and added more tips to assist you with making a perfect pavlova.

More Pavlova Recipes You’ll Love:

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Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova - A sublime dessert with a chocolate meringue topped with berries and cream

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

A jumbo cocoa meringue topped with cream and berries!

  • Author: Liz
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Australian

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (I whiz granulated sugar in the food processor for a minute or so)
  • 3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons coarsely grated semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9 inch circle on parchment, the flip the paper over. Set aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites till satiny in appearance. Slowly add the sugar, while continuing to beat, until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sift cocoa powder over the meringue, then add vinegar and chopped chocolate. Fold well till combined.
  3. Pile the meringue onto the baking sheet, keeping within the 9 inch circle. Smooth top and edges with an offset spatula. Place in oven and immediately decrease temperature to 300º. Bake for 1-1 1/4 hours till dry on edges and top. Pavlova will appear cracked. Turn off oven, open oven door, and allow to cool completely.
  4. To serve, invert onto serving plate. Whip cream with powdered sugar, vanilla and Whip It, if using. Top pavlova with whipped cream, then sprinkle with raspberries followed by grated chocolate.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Total time does not include cooling time.

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95 comments on “Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova”

  1. Your pavlova looks beautiful. I have actually never made it myself. I may just have to try this recipe. Cant go wrong with Nigella!

  2. This looks wonderful, could use a piece about now… as usual a decadent work of art.

  3. Chocolate…
    Pavlova…
    with Raspberries…

    Ooooo Mmmmmmmm Ggggggggg, Lizzy! That looks amazing and all great flavours that go so well together (and… not to fattening at all!)

  4. This looks so delicious. The flavors sound amazing. I would love to give this dessert a try sometime.

  5. As soon as I saw this on facebook I thought “Nigella!”. I’ve been meaning to make this for ageeeeeeeeeees. Yours looks beautiful and totally yummy 🙂

  6. This is such an elegant dessert! The way you described this has my mouth watering. I have to get the nerve up to work with meringue, you have done a wonderful job here.

  7. Oh wow! I have also never made a pavlova before and yours looks fantastic. I remember my mother used to make a meringue based dessert on a bunt pan, and she would leave it in the oven practically overnight… should go ask her about that one!

  8. What a fabulous dessert! Speaking of which, I did finally get to the Death by Chocolate cake about a week ago. Check it out when you get a chance.

    http://theslowroasteditalian.blogspot.com/2011/09/death-by-chocolate-cake.html

  9. I’ll have the make this when the wife is out of town, because she isn’t a raspberry lover and I think I’d want this cake just as you prepared it. 🙂

  10. Dear Lizzy, This looks divine! Light and delicious! I am sure that everyone enjoyed it. It also is very beautiful. Blessings, Catherine

  11. I have to try this pavlova!! Beautiful presentation!

    Hugs

  12. This looks absolutely fantastic. I’ve never had a pavlova either. I love this chocolate version!

  13. Oh wow! I have never seen anything like this. I am so impressed. It looks absolutely fantastic!

  14. Our favorite…glad you adapted the raspberry vinegar, that is all I use for this recipe…it adds such a nice nuance of raspberry flavor.

  15. I can’t believe I’ve never had pavlova!! Looking at yours makes me want to try it so bad! It looks awesome!!

  16. Yes, I’ve tasted Nigella’s chocolate pavlova before (but with strawberries) and it was delicious! Your dessert looks fantastic!!

  17. This looks awesome. I made pavlova sometime back with banana and chocolate syrup topping

  18. Love this recipe and the pics are perfect – YUMMY!!
    Mary

  19. How yummy! I keep meaning to try the pavlova!

  20. Pavlova is so good! Never tried a chocolate one though. Being a chocolate lover, I can’t imagine how good this would be!

  21. This looks amazing!! I’ve never made a pavlova but yours looks so good I might just have to try it out!

  22. This is something I’ve never baked. Should I ever, I’m hoping my turns out as beautifully as yours pictured here.

  23. This looks great–I love to serve Pavlovas during Passover because they’re one of the few desserts without leavening!

  24. I love love love pavlova. Like ‘tie my hands up or it’ll vanish’ love pavlova. Gorgeous photography, as always!

  25. I love pavlova a lot! and love this with raspberries, xxgloria

  26. You’ve outdone yourself once again!

  27. dessert looks wonderful Lizzy

  28. I can see why it received such rave reviews, its’ beautiful.

  29. Nigella has some decadent desserts of her own… but your Pavlova looks insanely good!!

  30. Sounds very Aussie indeed! hehehe I love a good pavlova! And this looks awesome dear Lizzy!!!! I am sure everyone loved it!

  31. I have never had pavlova but it sounds and looks delicious. Very elegant!

  32. What a beautiful Pavlova Liz, they are delish and much easier to make then people think. Raspberries are a wonderful choice.

  33. The crackle on your pavlova is so pretty.

  34. Una verdadera delicia un postre elegante, me encanta,adoro las frambuesas,abrazos.

  35. Lizzy -this is STUNNING! I’m sure your guests loved it! Pavlova is on my lie time list of things to make…..I like the chocolate in it!

  36. How gorgeous is this?! Absolutely beautiful. I’m definitely bookmarking this one, as it seems perfect for company. Never done it before, so wish me luck I can pull it off half as good as you did!

  37. Pavlova with chocolate and raspberry… DELICIOUS!!!!!
    The pictures look so delicious tooo
    yummyy

  38. I made this last year at Christmas – it was amazingly wonderful!! Enjoy!

  39. D:

    Raspberries… I haven’t had raspberries or raspberry pastries in so long…

  40. Lizzy, the pavlova is beautifully done, love the rustic looks and the crack lines, awesome!

  41. I’m in the group of people who don’t know Pavlova! The pictures above already show how delicious this looks, but I really wish to have it!

  42. Liz…I LOVE pavlovas…but have yet to try a chocolate one. This is perfect with the raspberries. So pretty! Looking forward to trying your chocolate version!

  43. You always come up with wonderful desserts Lizzy, thumbs up for your baking skills, surely great with the berries.

  44. Chocolate and raspberries is — for me — a tie with chocolate and peanut butter as one great pairing. I absolutely love raspberries but have never dared a pavlova. Nigella does make things look easy, doesn’t she? And so do you! I just might try this the next time I want to wow!

  45. Beautiful Pavlova, Lizzy! Love it in chocolate – sadly, I’m the only one who likes it chocolate! I wonder if I can make individual sized ones and only add chocolate to one part for ME!

  46. Such an elegant dessert. I haven’t had pavlova in forever.

  47. So… What I need to do is invite you over and I can have some? Ok, Liz you can come over ANY time you want! 😉 This looks seriously decadent and I can just imagine how scrumptious it tastes!

  48. Yes, Lizzy-you do have a “reputation” for bringing the most decadent, and elegant desserts. Wow, and wow, again…just look at this beauty!
    Not everyone can make pavlova…and chocolate pavlova, of all thing!
    Totally gorgeous, and decadent, with perfectly beautiful raspberries on the top…oh, my:DDD

  49. Ooh, I’ve been eyeing this recipe ever since I bought Nigella’s book. The problem is that I never seem to think about it when raspberries are in season. Now that I’ve seen yours I’m more motivated. Looks delicious!

  50. Thank you so mch for visiting my blog and for the kind comments ( can’t thank Elisabeth enough ) , I love nigella , can’t ever go wrong with her recipes , your pavlova looks exactly like hers , just gorgeous , thanks again Lizzy 🙂 .

  51. Congratulations on TOP 9! Those raspberries look perfect 🙂

  52. It’s been way too long since I’ve made a pavlova and this one looks SO good. The chocolate and raspberry combo is just perfect!

  53. I am impressed – it’s beautiful.

  54. Lizzy,
    I’ve nenver had a lot of luck with egg whites, so I ahve enver made Pavlova. Your is gorgeous with all the chocolate and raspberries, so elegant. congrats on the Top 9 today!

  55. So beautiful! Congrats on Top 9!

  56. Congrats on Top 9 yet again! You are amazing, girl! 🙂

  57. This so deserved to be in the top, Congratulations!

  58. I love raspberries and your Pavlova looks fantastic! I’ll try to make some meringue (for the first time) using your recipe 🙂 Ciao and congrats on top 9!

  59. Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

  60. THANK YOU!!!! xoxo

  61. I’ve made regular pavlovas but never chocolate. That will have to be remedied!!! This looks incredible even for a non-dessert fan like me. Have you tried other fruits on top? xxo Kate

  62. No, Kate, I haven’t tried other fruits…but I think strawberries would go well with the chocolate, too. Have a great weekend!!! xo

  63. Hi Lizzy,
    It is nice to see you today with such a beautiful dessert. This dessert just looks fabulous and very special! Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  64. I like your writing – short but gets the point through 😀 and are pavlovas supposed to be cracked like that? i thought that they were supposed to be smooth on the outside? perhaps you didn’t cool it well enough? (a drastic change in temp. can crack pavlovas) but it still looks delcious!

    Amanda
    softandstiffpeaks.blogspot.com

  65. Thanks, Amanda 🙂 Yeah, good question…and not sure why this particular one cracks. I popped over to see how Nigella’s looks…and hers is cracked, too. Hmmmmm…I don’t know if the addition of cocoa and chocolate would cause this…or if it’s her method.

    Thanks, everyone, for the sweet comments! So glad you all stopped by~

  66. This is one of my Nigella favorites too!

  67. Great YBR choice, Lizzy! Looks scrumptious! I have yet to try one of these nevermind make one, but after seeing yours, it’s definitely on my to-do list!
    Thank you.

  68. I have to admit that I’ve never tried a Pavlova. But it looks so delicious and I love that it’s served with fruit, yummy! Thanks for participating in September’s YBR 🙂 Sorry I’m so late in getting here.

  69. Gorgeous!!! You can’t go wrong with a Nigella recipe! I find her recipes always turn out well.

    Thank you for joining our pavlova blog hop. Could you please include the blog hop badge and the blog hop code on your post. You will find the code and badge here http://www.ledelicieux.com/2011/11/25/black-forest-pavlova/

    Thanks!

  70. Yummy!

  71. This is a WINNER! We loved your pavlova. I could eat the crispy chocolate meringue shell all by itself if it wasn’t so good with the whipped cream and berries on it. My 12 year old daughter who is not much of a dessert eater has already requested this in lieu of a birthday cake this year. We loved it so much that we’re making another today to share with friends! I can’t wait to try your pavlova with lemon curd too!

  72. Hooray! This is a family favorite here, too! Love that your daughter wants this in lieu of cake….my kind of gal!! Happy New Year, Kimberlee~

  73. Oh wow! That looks lovely. Believe it or not, I’ve never had a pavlova before. I am missing out on a lot!

  74. I’ve got to try this chocolate pavlova! How fun and so prefect with raspberries. Thanks Liz 😉

  75. This chocolate raspberry pavlova is such an elegant dessert. Perfect for any occasion.

  76. Love this chocolate version! Pavlovas are so popular overseas. That really needs to change! Everyone loves them and thinks they are so exotic when they are served. Plus they taste light and though decadent, are perfect for summer!

  77. Liz this is simply epic, I want to make it before the summer’s out, gorgeous!!

  78. Chocolate ad raspberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations!

  79. This looks beautiful!

  80. Gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat! 

  81. Love that this is a chocolate dessert on the lighter side!

  82. Love chocolate and raspberry together. Coupled with the airy crisp pavlova and it is a winner!!!

  83. This looks incredible! I love the raspberries on top, such a pretty addition!

  84. This is beautiful!! I love these kind of recipes. Thank you for this recipe!

  85. This is gorgeous Liz!! Palova is so addicting! I can’t get enough of the crispy outside and the chewy inside.

  86. what a perfect recipe!! 

  87. What a stunning pavlova, Liz! You’ve truly outdone yourself! 🙂

  88. Wow this cake recipe is so good, thank you for sharing your recipe

  89. Wow this cake is so good and delicious, thank you for sharing your blog

  90. This looks delicious!

  91. Cookouts are the best aren’t they? Looks like a fab recipe! xo

  92. This looks absolutely fantastic. I’ve never had a pavlova either. I love this chocolate version!

  93. I am impressed – it’s beautiful.

  94. chocolate raspberry pavlova is such an elegant dessert. Perfect for any occasion !!!

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