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Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

You just cannot beat a pav in summer, and in particular this dark beauty. The crisp and chewy chocolate meringue base, rich in cocoa and beaded nuggets of chopped plain chocolate, provides a sombre, almost purple-brown layer beneath the fat whiteness of the cream and matt, glowering crimson raspberries on top: it is a killer combination.

You just cannot beat a pav in summer, and in particular this dark beauty. The crisp and chewy chocolate meringue base, rich in cocoa and beaded nuggets of chopped plain chocolate, provides a sombre, almost purple-brown layer beneath the fat whiteness of the cream and matt, glowering crimson raspberries on top: it is a killer combination.

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 8-10

Metric Cups

For the Chocolate Meringue Base

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 300 grams caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sieved)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 50 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)

For the Topping

  • 500 millilitres double cream
  • 500 grams raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate (coarsely grated)

For the Chocolate Meringue Base

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)

For the Topping

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate (coarsely grated)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/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/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, invert 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 raspberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don't want the raspberries' luscious colour and form to be obscured, and sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate's rim.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/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/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, invert 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 raspberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don't want the raspberries' luscious colour and form to be obscured, and sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate's rim.

Tell us what you think

What 33 Others have said

  • Love this recipe have experimented with different types of chocolate for example salted however the best adaptation came a few years ago, I was responsible for desert for a large New Years Eve dinner Party with friends, we'd made some lemoncello as gifts for our friends and I decided to make a lemon curd with the egg yolks and lemoncello, I wanted to combine even more so grated lemon rind into the beaten whites along with chopped pistachios and to finish gentle folded the curd into the cream to decorate

    Posted by Lilise on 31st December 2015
  • Excellent and delicious!

    Posted by fernandezros on 14th December 2015
  • This gluten free cake is now a Christmas tradition in our house. It's a wonderful end to super rich celebration dinners because it's so airy and refreshing. Not too sweet, either. Even better the next day, if you're lucky enough for leftovers.

    Posted by laureldesign on 9th December 2015
  • What a lovely recipe and so easy to make! Delicious cake!! <3<3 best pavlova ever. My cousin told me about this site when I asked her how she made the cake. We were 17 girls on the Norwegian national day and everyone was gutted - they all said the pavlova was the best they ever! tasted! :)

    Posted by madeleineloves on 30th May 2015
  • Hi, I intend to make this for christmas this year. Does anyone know how far in advance you can make this recipe?

    Posted by soldaker on 1st December 2011
  • I am making this recipe in the next few days and I have a query - is the cornflour (normally used in pavlova) missing or has this been omitted for a reason?

    Posted by djsyclopz on 17th July 2011
  • This dessert is easy and fun to make! It has a decadent rich chocolate flavour, but is balanced with a light fluffy meringue;'and the raspberries give a fun splash of colour in the appearance and taste!

    Posted by christmasbaking on 15th February 2015
  • Hi from Canada! I have made this delicious pavlova so many times! It is my new favourite. Most recently I made them individual size and split the batter into 8 small pavlovas, reducing the cooking time to 35 minutes. They were fantastic! Thank you for this great recipe! Maria, www.mariasnotes.com

    Posted by Mariasnotes on 25th February 2015
  • Made this for Christmas lunch with the extended family today in Australia. Increased the recipe to accommodate the group by adding 2 more egg whites and a bit more cocoa and sugar. Added luscious dark cherries to the raspberries on top as well, as they are a seasonal favourite here. Received much praise and many compliments. Fun to make and fun to eat.

    Posted by CommanderRed on 25th December 2014
  • So...I made this today for the first time, because I've been obsessed with the lemon+cream+egg yolk pasta sauce and I thought "It's Nigella's fault I'm obsessed with this, I'm sure she has a solution to all these egg whites in my freezer". I made it with half the quantities and I'm waiting for it to cool so I can put the cream on top. I made it too thin but luckily I was paying attention so it didn't overcooked. I'm also putting pomegranate on top, because we are not big on the berry department in Spain. I hope I don't die after eating it :D xx

    Posted by Cereixas on 13th December 2014
  • This is the best pavlova recipe I've ever tried! I personally prefer using strawberries, delicious! Thanks Nigella x

    Posted by christitheo30 on 16th November 2014
  • Made this for the first time today (it was my first time making a pav too). It turned out great and went down a treat for Sunday dessert! So easy to make but all too easy to eat. The flavours and textures compliment each other so well, can't wait to make it again!

    Posted by BakerOfNoms on 5th October 2014
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