The chocolate lover’s answer to Pavlova, these little guys are light and crisp with a slightly chewy center.
Okay, so they aren’t little little, but I’m pretty sure the strawberry on top counts as a serving of fruit.
Egg whites are whisked until soft peaks form. Then the sugar is added one spoonful at a time, and the whole thing is whisked until you have a shiny meringue with stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whisk, or you’ll end up with dry meringues.
Fold in the chocolate chips, cocoa powder and salt until just combined.
Spoon the meringue onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, making twelve even mounds. Press the back of a spoon into each one creating a little bowl. This little crevice will hold the whipped cream later on. You can pipe the meringue for a neater and more uniform look, but I like the cloud like look that results from using a spoon.
Bake for about an hour, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. If you’re making these at 8 am on a Saturday and fully plan on eating them for brunch (it’s basically an egg white omelet, right?), go ahead and make yourself a cup of coffee while you wait patiently.
Carefully transfer the meringues from the baking sheets to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
Using a stand mixer, beat heavy cream until it reaches a medium-stiff consistency. Start with the mixer on low, and gradually increase the speed as it thickens to avoid splattering your entire kitchen. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until just combined. Resist the urge to let your furry sous chef lick the beater no matter how convincing their puppy dog eyes are.
Add a dollop of whipped cream to each meringue, and top with a strawberry.
For the Meringue
-6 egg whites
-300 grams (about 1-1/2 cups) extra fine granulated sugar (“castor sugar”)¹
-3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
-2 ounces miniature dark chocolate chips
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 cups heavy whipping cream
-1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
-1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste²
-12 strawberries, washed and cut to desired shape
For the Meringue
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar in one spoonful at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the meringue is shiny.
- Fold in the cocoa powder, chocolate chips and salt.
- Spoon³ the meringue into twelve even mounds on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using the back of a spoon make a small crater in the center of each.
- Transfer the baking sheets to the oven on two racks, and lower the temperature to 300°F. Bake for about 1 hour, until the meringues are light and crispy on the outside, switching the baking sheets halfway through. Transfer the meringues onto a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream until it reaches a medium-stiff consistency. Begin with the mixer on low, and gradually increase speed to avoid splatter.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste, and beat until just combined.
- Spoon³ the whipped cream onto each meringue, and top with a strawberry.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe.
¹Regular granulated sugar can be used in the place of super fine. It takes longer to dissolve in the egg whites than super fine sugar, so add it in slower to ensure it incorporates completely to avoid a grainy texture.
²Vanilla extract can be used in place of vanilla bean paste.
³For a neater, more uniform look pipe the meringue and whipped cream.