Cacao pavlova

A dark chocolate topping replaces the usual layer of whipped cream on this crisp meringue dessert from Willie Harcourt-Cooze
Cacao pavlova
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus at least 1 hour cooling time
  • Effort: easy


For the meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • pinches salt
  • 275 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 250 ml double cream
  • 50 g golden caster sugar
  • 60 g 100% pure cacao, finely grated
  • selection of seasonal fruit, (such as mixed berries, kiwi fruit or mango), sliced if large


1. For the meringue: preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form then gradually whisk in the sugar until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Using a large metal spoon gently fold in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla extract.

3. Spoon the meringue into a rough round shape on the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour then turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool inside for at least an hour with the oven door closed.

4. For the filling: gently heat the cream and sugar together in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the cacao until the filling is dark and glossy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool and thicken slightly (transfer to the fridge to chill for 10 minutes to thicken further if necessary).

5. Spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled meringue, top with seasonal fruits and serve.

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