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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!  A cocoa meringue base is topped with a luscious cloud of whipped cream, sweet ripe raspberries, and chocolate shavings.

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 1920s.

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:

Yield: 8 servings

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

A jumbo cocoa meringue topped with cream and berries!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 67mg Sodium: 59mg Carbohydrates: 55g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 53g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
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97 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. You always come up with wonderful desserts Lizzy, thumbs up for your baking skills, surely great with the berries.

  43. 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!

  44. 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!

  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. 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

  48. 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!

  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 🙂 .

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