Crispy on the outside, dense marshmallowy on the inside chocolate pavlovas. These mini pavlovas are topped with whipped cream, raspberry curd and fresh fruit.
Remember this gorgeous layered chocolate pavlova? I wanted to do little mini desserts, fit for a tea party of sorts. I absolutely adore a raspberry chocolate combination and so this just had to be. The raspberry adds a lovely tart taste against the sweet meringue.
Ingredients for Mini Chocolate Pavlovas
Egg whites: No substitutes and don’t use egg whites only from the carton as they won’t whip as well. It’s fine if the eggs are cold (eggs are more easily separated when cold).
Sugar: Fine granulated sugar. If using larger crystals like organic sugar or turbinado pulse in a food processor first.
Cocoa: Dutch process cocoa, a good quality – we aren’t using much but want it to count.
Vinegar: Any vinegar will do but I think a red wine goes better with the chocolate flavor.
Starch: Cornstarch or tapioca, either will do.
Salt & Vanilla: Fine sea salt and a very good quality vanilla.
How to these pavlovas: the quick guide
Make the curd, store in the fridge
Heat sugar & egg whites
Shape & bake
Make whipped cream
Tips to make perfect chocolate pavlovas
No egg yellow: Fat will get in the way of whipping the meringue so we want absolutely none of that in our egg whites.
A very clean bowl: It shouldn’t be wet and there should be no fat residue, some people clean their bowls with a paper towel wetted with vinegar.
No sugar granules (or very few): While it’s over the simmering water, lift the whisk so that some egg white flows down and pinch your fingers to see if the sugar has dissolved. It doesn’t have to be none at all but you shouldn’t be able to detect more than one.
Stiff peaks: To check if a meringue is done, take the whisk out and turn it upside down to see if it droops. It’s okay if there is a LITTLE tiny droop at the end, I actually prefer it here because we’re going to be folding in the cocoa and don’t want to overmix it.
Get the bake time right: If your oven runs hot or cold you might find these instructions aren’t perfect so look for visual cues instead: does the meringue shell feel firm? Can it be lifted from the parchment without fully sticking? These will tell you if they are done baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 (if your oven runs hot make it 325). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Separate your eggs, ensuring that no yellow has gotten into the whites - the whites should be in a heatproof bowl. Set a pot filled ⅓ of the way with water over low heat and bring it to a simmer. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.
Whisk the eggs constantly as they warm, after a few minutes pinch some of the mix between your index and thumb - once you can’t detect or only detect very few sugar granules, remove it from the heat.
Pour into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin whisking on low, then work it up to medium speed. Add the salt and vanilla and whisk until the meringue is thick and almost at stiff peaks. Add the starch and vinegar and whisk to combine.
Sift the cocoa over the bowl and use a rubber spatula to fold it in: gently making large Js with the spatula. Don’t stir it, just gently fold over and over until there are no big clumps of cocoa.
Dollop the meringue onto the pan in four domes (I like to use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop to do this, each pavlova will have about 3/4 cups of meringue).
Use an offset spatula to shape them into mini pavlovas, swirling them into shape and making a dip at the top (this is where the filling will go).
Reduce the heat to 300 F and bake for 30 minutes, until the pavlovas are firm and will lift from the pan. Turn the oven off and leave them in for an hour.
To make the whipped cream: add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until thick.
Assembly: In the center of each pavlova, add a dollop of whipped cream then a spoonful of raspberry curd. Top with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings (chocolate grated on a cheese grater). Serve immediately!