Food with passion: Chocolate Pavlova

Food with passion: Chocolate Pavlova

Last week I was contemplating what dessert could I make for Easter Sunday dinner as my sister, brother in-law and my two nephews were coming and I instantly thought Pavlova, as it’s one of their favourite desserts.

I’ve made many different versions of Pavlova over the years but I was craving something new and different and then I remembered Nigella Lawson had made a chocolate Pavlova before and I thought; perfect, chocolate for Easter and in Pavlova form both bases covered.

This is incredibly easy to make but so delicious to eat.

The crisp and chewy chocolate meringue base, rich in cocoa and beaded nuggets of chopped plain chocolate, provides a sombre, dark-brown layer beneath the fat whiteness of the cream and matt, glowering crimson strawberries on top: it is a killer combination!

Ingredients: (Makes one generous Pavlova)

  • 300g castor sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of good vanilla extra
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 100g of finely chopped plain dark chocolate


  • 300g chopped strawberries
  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Coarsely grated dark chocolate to decorate


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2 Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate.

Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound on to a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/130°C Fan/gas mark 2/300ºF and cook for about one to one and a quarter hours.

When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top, but when you prod the centre you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely.

3 When you’re ready to serve, put the meringue on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the strawberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate and sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate’s rim.

This Pavlova recipe went down a real treat with all my family on Easter Sunday. I had every confidence it would – despite me slightly adapting the recipe somewhat.

You can use raspberries if you prefer, I tend to find them quite tart but either way, if you are after the contrast of the dark Pavlova base, with white cream adorned on top and the crimson red berries make this dessert a real feast for the eyes and one that I will certainly making time and time again!

Pavlova’s are great for when you’re entertaining a crowd as the base can be made the day ahead and they go a long way!

Share This