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Black Forest Pavlova

A pillowy chocolate meringue base, topped with a layer of chocolate ganache, followed by a layer of indulgent soft cream and mascarpone, and finally embellished with a syrupy dark cherry crown; this Black Forest Pavlova is unabashed decadence and utterly irresistible!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Birthday, cherries, Christmas, dark chocolate, Gluten free, meringue, New Year's Eve
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting time (leave in oven): 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Alter quantities (metric only) 6 servings

Ingredients you'll need...

Chocolate Meringue

  • 8 Egg whites from large eggs at room temperature (US = extra large)
  • 460 g Caster sugar (US = superfine sugar = 2 Cups)
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of tartar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon Grated dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla essence optional

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150 g Dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids plus extra for grating (US = 1 cup of dark chocolate chips)
  • 200 ml Double cream (US = heavy cream = 13 tbsp)

Cream and Mascarpone Filling

  • 200 g Double cream (US = heavy cream = 13 tbsp)
  • 150 g Mascarpone (US = 10 tbsp)
  • 2 teaspoon Caster sugar

Black Cherry Filling

  • 100 g Frozen black cherries (20 whole cherries)
  • 100 g Black morello cherry jam (US = 5 tbsp)

Here's what we do...

Chocolate Meringue

  • Heat your oven to 160°C Fan/180°C/355°F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Cut a piece of greaseproof (parchment) paper large enough to line the base of your baking tray and draw a 20cm circle onto it. Turn the paper over so that drawn outline does not touch your meringue when added.
  • Ensure your bowl and whisk attachment are spotlessly clean before you add your egg whites. If you want to be totally sure wipe both with white wine vinegar, this will remove any grease etc that you can't see. Any grease at all will affect how your egg whites whisk up.
  • Beat your egg whites in your mixer using the whisk attachment, starting on a low setting, until they become frothy.
  • Add your cream of tartar and then turn up the speed to medium-high and whisk until the egg whites form soft peaks.
  • Turn your mixer down to a low-medium setting and add a dessertspoonful of sugar, allow the mixture to churn the sugar in for about 4 seconds before adding another spoonful and so on until all of the sugar has been used.
  • Turn up your mixer back up to a medium-high setting and whisk for about until the meringue forms stiff peaks. This can take a couple of minutes. Soft peaks occur when your meringue peaks but then falls back on itself, stiff peaks are the pointy ones that keep their shape.
  • Gently fold in your grated chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla essence, just a few folds are enough, so as to create a marbled effect and to avoid losing air from your meringue.
  • Place a spot of meringue onto each corner of your baking tray then affix your piece of greaseproof paper to it, so that it is held in place.
  • Using your large metal spoon, blob the meringue in a heap onto the centre of the circle on your greaseproof paper, then spread out to fill the circle so that it just reaches your drawn outline.
  • Place your meringue into your oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 130°C Fan/150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.
  • Leave to bake for 1½ hours, until firm and set but still pale in colour, do not be tempted to open your oven door to check on your pavlova, it's very heat sensitive and can't cope with changes in temperature and you may kill it off.
  • After 1½ hours turn your oven off and leave the meringue to sit in your oven for another 1½-2 hours as it cools. This will ensure it continues to dry out inside.
  • Once out of your oven, very gently peel away your greaseproof paper.
  • Ensure fully cool before adding your fillings.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • Chop your dark chocolate up into small chunks and set it aside in a heatproof dish.
  • Heat your double cream over a medium heat in your small saucepan until it just starts to simmer.
  • Pour your cream over your dark chocolate and leave it to settle for 2 minutes, then gently stir to melt and combine.
  • Place your saucepan lid on and to leave cool until room temperature.
  • When cool spread over the top of your meringue using your spatula.

Double (heavy) Cream and Mascapone Filling

  • Beat together your mascarpone and cream until soft peaks are formed. The mixture can quickly be overbeaten so stop and check regularly for the soft peak stage.
  • Spread over your cooled chocolate ganache. It is best to dollop the cream on in small blobs and then spread it out, so that it doesn't pick up any chocolate ganache.

Dark Cherry Topping

  • Add your morello jam and cherries to your small saucepan and heat on a medium setting until simmering.
  • Simmer for 2 minutes then leave to cool completely.
  • Once totally cool, blob over your cream topping.
  • Grate over shavings of dark chocolate.
  • Ensure you keep your final pavlova refridgerated.
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Supporting Notes

  • Be very careful not to get even the tiniest bit of yolk in with your egg whites as it will impair their ability to whip up.
  • Don't be tempted to remove your pavlova from the greaseproof paper before it has fully cooled, otherwise, it may stick. STORAGE
    You can make the meringue pavlova base 1-2 days in advance and store it in an airtight container until required.
    This Black Forest Pavlova will keep refrigerated for 2 days in an airtight container.
    It must be kept refrigerated at all times due to the layer of cream and mascarpone.

Make Your own Notes on this Recipe here...