Chocolate Pavlova With Berries

Chocolate Pavlova With Cherries and Mulberries

Our month of egg recipes wouldn’t be complete without something sweet, so we’re excited to share a chocolate meringue from Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper. With handfuls of fresh berries, a crisp crust and a soft, chewy inside, this pavlova (named in honor of an elegant Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, in the 1920s) takes the cake for warm-weather desserts. Here’s how to whip it up…

Chocolate Pavlova With Berries
by Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper

When I first set out to make a pavlova, it was daunting. Not because of the complexity, but because of the lack of it. What magic would I need to harness to turn egg whites and sugar into something with such an intriguing texture? The best pavlovas are crisp and airy with irresistibly chewy centers. Happily, all that lay between me and pavlova perfection was just to try.

To make yours, you’ll want to take care at two crucial points. First, the bowl in which you beat the whites needs to be spotless – even a smudge of grease can deflate your eggy peaks. Any speck of yolk is even more disastrous and can prevent egg whites from whipping up at all. Crack eggs into a small dish first just in case a yolk breaks. Next, you’ll want to take care not to overcook the pavlova; keep a close eye toward the end of cook time and off the heat as soon as you think it’s done.

Once you’ve baked your pavlova, top it with a generous dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream (also excellent for masking imperfections) and a pile of ripe cherries, berries, or other seasonal fruits.

Chocolate Pavlova With Berries

Chocolate Pavlova With Berries

You’ll need:

4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar (you can buy it, or just pulse reguar sugar a few times in a coffee grinder)
1/2 tsp finely ground coffee
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups berries and cherries (I used a mix of Bing cherries and mulberries)
1 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large, spotlessly clean bowl, beat egg whites on high speed 3-4 minutes, until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in cream of tartar and beat 1 minute more.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, use a fork to combine superfine sugar, coffee and cornstarch.

With beater still on high, slowly add sugar and coffee mixture, beating until the meringue is stiff, pliant and has a nice sheen, about 4-5 minutes more. Finally, fold in the cocoa, followed by the balsamic vinegar.

Spoon onto prepared baking sheet and spread into an 8-10-inch circle, creating a few peaks and valleys as you do.

Gently slide pavlova into oven, turn heat down to 300F and bake 45-50 minutes, or until the edges are the faintest golden and the top is set but still has some spring. Turn off the heat, leave the oven door slightly ajar and allow the pavlova to cool completely inside the oven. The cooked pavlova will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To serve, toss fruit with 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat cream to soft peaks, folding in 1 teaspoon of sugar right at the end. Spoon the whipped cream onto pavlova and top with berries. Slice and serve immediately.

Chocolate Pavlova With Cherries and Mulberries

Thank you so much, Elizabeth!

P.S. More recipes, including berry cobbler and chocolate mousse.

(Recipe and photos by Elizabeth Stark. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)

  1. Mary says...

    This is a great post.

  2. Awads says...

    I just wanted to report that I made this dessert over the weekend and it was a huge hit! It is so simple (pantry ingredients, basically!), and took maybe 20 minutes to set up. the oven did the rest. Sure, it cracked and crumbled (don’t try to move it off the parchment paper, just use scissors to cut around the paper and it’ll be fine). I put a mixture of blackberries and raspberries over the whipped cream and it was just delightful. This is a true keeper!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So glad to hear that!!

  3. One of my favourites! The recipe and blogger! :)

  4. I love cake very much.. Looks so tasty.. Maybe I can eat it at all..

  5. looks so intimidating to make, but then again i think that any form of meringue is intimating. hah!

  6. This is poofy, chocolatey perfection! Beautiful photos too!

  7. Crystine says...

    Use whipped coconut cream in place of the dairy. So so so good.

  8. Kelly says...

    Ah, the quintessential Kiwi pav! This is a must do for our summer Christmas Day dessert in New Zealand. It’s so, so good. My mum makes the best pavlova (which is even better for breakfast the next day – oops did I just say that?!)

  9. Annie Shepherd says...

    If there’s a suitable food theme in the next few months, you should definitely get in touch with Deb from Smitten Kitchen, or Annie from Annie’s Eats. My two favourite food bloggers that would totally kill whatever theme you can come up with :)

  10. I am working on a vegan Pavlova at the moment, because I miss Pavlova’s taste so much! This one looks delicious.

  11. This looks like one of those deceivingly impressive desserts to see when you have company over! With 2 small kiddos I love anything which looks complicated and beautiful, but in fact took very little time! Gorgeous!


    • You’re so right Colleen! I have two kids too, and deceivingly impressive desserts are my jam.

  12. Looks delicious! :) Needs to be tested!

  13. Anneke says...

    How on earth do you serve this? Like how do you slice it? How is it supposed to look on a plate?

    • This is an Australian / NZ dessert and there we serve by slicing it up like a cake. It’s a bit messy (i.e. it won’t look like a perfectly sliced layer cake) as the inside is marshmallowy but it is DELICIOUS!

    • Hi Anneke, Truthfully, it looks a bit messy on the plate. With a sharp chef’s knife, you can cut get wedges but the pavlova crumbles and breaks up a bit.

  14. Aidel.K says...

    Just in time for Passover! I’ll have to swap out that corn starch, though. Looks yummy.

    • Katherine says...

      You can leave out the corn flour but it is included to stop any sugar weeping out of the pav when it’s cooked. Not a huge issue if it weeps, but not as pretty, and sticky/messy. The other way to avoid weeping is to add the sugar very slowly and make sure it’s fully dissolved between each addition -rub a little egg white between your fingers to be sure you can’t feel any sugar. You’ll beat for twice the time given here. The other important step is to let it cool down in the oven. Turn it off and leave the door open just a crack. Pavlovas are easy-just follow the rules. Chocolate pavs have a little less strength and structure than a traditional pav but they are so utterly delicious!

    • Aidel.K says...

      Thank you so much for that help!

  15. Mmm looks like the perfect dessert on this warm Spring day!

  16. Michaela says...

    Ugh, Jo you could have at least got a New Zealander or an Australian to do the pavlova recipe.

    This looks more like an Eton Mess.

    • Kaitlin says...

      Eton Mess is layered. This is definitely pavlova and, maybe this is progressive, but I for one don’t really care if the baker is from the same country of origin as the 100-year-old recipe.

    • Lena says...

      I absolutely don’t either! I think the recipe can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere :)

  17. Rebecca says...

    Perfect timing, I’ve been craving pavlova! Silly question for you, where does the chocolate come into play?

    • Amy P says...

      The cocoa powder is folded into the meringue as the second last step before scooping it on to the pan to bake.

    • Hi Rebecca, It’s tough to tell from the pictures, but the pavlova itself is chocolate flavored (and has a slightly brown hue). There’s just a hint of cocoa, coffee, and balsamic to add depth and interest to the meringue.

    • Rebecca says...

      Thanks for the replies ladies! I completely missed the cocoa powder in the ingredient list.

  18. YES.

  19. Aimee says...

    Balthazar in NYC makes (made? it’s been a while since I last visited) a pavlova with creme fraiche that is to DIE for. It’s one of my most favorite desserts in the world and totally worth the 3 hour trip to SoHo for it!

    • Blake says...

      I am visiting NYC this weekend and have a reservation at Balthazar….will have to keep an eye out for this dessert!!

  20. Perfect timing. I have egg whites and was just wondering what to do with them. We’ll use fresh strawberries, now in season. Even though it isn’t yet the weekend. ;)