This Espresso Chocolate Pavlova is out of this world and I am so proud it. The Pavlova base has espresso powder and chopped chocolate that gets all melty in the oven, topped with chocolate whipped cream and dark Morello cherries. Espresso and chocolate are a great combination and they bring out the best in each other.
The espresso powder adds the intensity, the chocolate adds richness and the cherries add the balance.
It makes for a perfect holiday dessert as it is airy and light, you can make it ahead and it taste and looks like a show stopper. I am sharing all the tips I have learned to make a perfect Pavlova every single time.
Steps To Making A Perfect Pavlova
- Let’s talk about the eggs
A lot of recipes for Pavlova suggest using fresh eggs because they whip up better, I am going to advice the opposite. Use eggs that are older because they whip up more quickly and to a higher volume. Now there is such a thing as an egg being too old, to check place a uncracked egg in a glass of water. If your egg floats it is way too old (toss it) and if it stands on its end then it is perfect for this recipe.
Bring your egg whites to room temperature they will whip up better than cold eggs. Separating room temperature eggs is a nightmare, so separate the eggs while still cold. Let the egg whites come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Whip the egg whites slowly at first till they are foamy and then increase the speed to medium till they form soft peaks. Also it is important to use a clean bowl and whisk, if there is any type of grease or a speck of yolk your eggs won’t foam up.
2. Cream of tartar is the secret ingredient
Cream of tartar is used to stabilize the egg whites while whipping them. It insures that your Pavlova will not collapse, even if you end up over whipping your eggs. Cream of tartar can be found at most grocery stores in the baking aisle near the spices. Lemon juice can be substituted in a pinch, just add 1 tsp for 4 egg whites.
3. Don’t dump the sugar
If you dump the sugar all at once it will be hard to dissolve it into the eggs which will result in a gritty texture. The key is to start adding 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time only after the whites have formed soft peaks, then keep whipping the whites to form a stiff peak. Another way to avoid gritty texture is to use super fine sugar, easy way to do that is to just pulse regular sugar for 30 seconds in a food processor.
Test it by turning the bowl upside down, if the Pavlova mixture doesn’t move it is perfect.
4.Vinegar and Cornstarch are definitely needed
These two ingredients are what differentiates a Pavlova from meringue. It gives the Pavlova its chewy texture on the outside and marshmallowy texture on the inside.
- Adding additional flavorings
When adding other flavorings to a Pavlova be careful with how much and how you add it in, so it doesn’t deflate the whites. In this Espresso Chocolate Pavlova I sift in the espresso powder and corn starch along with chopped chocolate and then gently fold it in.
- Time, temperature, and cooling are key
I pre-heat the oven to 300 degree and then drop the temperature to 250 degrees when I put in the Pavlova. It will bake anywhere from an hour to hour and fifteen minutes, then turn off the oven and let it cool with the oven door slightly open for minimum 2 hours or overnight is great.
This dessert can be made up to two days ahead and kept in a dry place, but once you add whipping cream it needs to be eaten right away.
- Is adding fruit on top necessary ?
I would say for a plain Pavlova yes the fruit is definitely necessary because the base is so sweet that you need to balance it with a tart fruit. Traditionally in New Zealand and Australia Pavlova is topped with passion fruit or kiwi.
For this Espresso Chocolate Pavlova you can skip the cherries if you are a purist and don’t enjoy fruit with chocolate. I would highly recommend to add them because it just adds another dimension of flavor and texture.
- Be confident
I always believe that when you cook with fear something will always go wrong. If you read through all the steps and feel intimidated to make this dessert don’t be. It is one of the easiest desserts to make and it looks like a show stopper. These steps are just pointers to help you succeed.
I really do hope you make this Espresso Chocolate Pavlova and if you do please comment below
Thank you for reading! If you enjoy my recipes, please subscribe to my free newsletter, so you never miss a recipe. Please follow me on Instagram or Pinterest. . If you make this recipe, I would love to know! Tag me on Instagram@cookeatlaugh and #cookeatlaughblog
See below for other scrumptious sweets