Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries

A delightful Chocolate Pavlova with a crispy shell and chewy centre, topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Follow this chocolate pavlova recipe with step-by-step photos.

chocolate pavlova with raspberries on white cake stand

Chocolate Pavlova

My go-to dessert is a classic pavlova topped simply with fresh passionfruit. But when I am in the mood to vary things a bit, I stray only very slightly by making a Chocolate Pavlova. I love the pastel brown colour of a Chocolate Pavlova, and it pairs so well with berries in both summer and winter.

If anything, I think of a Chocolate Pavlova as a winter pavlova, but that doesn’t stop me from making it throughout the year, depending on my mood.

chocolate pavlova with whipped cream and raspberries on cake stand

Chocolate Pavlova Recipe

To turn a classic pavlova into a chocolate version, all you need to add is some good quality cocoa powder.

However, my chocolate pavlova recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson’s version in her cookbook, Forever Summer, where she also adds roughly chopped dark chocolate to the meringue mixture. Upon baking, the chocolate pieces become trapped in the chewy, crispy parts of the pavlova, adding an extra layer of texture and flavour to the dessert.

chocolate pavlova with whipped cream and fresh raspberries on white cake plate

How to Make Chocolate Pavlova

Step 1

Unless you really want to have a heavy duty upper arm workout, an electric stand mixer or an electric hand-held beater is an essential equipment when making a pavlova.

Place the egg whites into a large, clean bowl that is free from any grease.

To ensure that the egg whites whip up nicely, make sure that they are at room temperature.

Step 2

Whisk the egg whites until they have tripled in volume and form soft peaks when you lift the beaters.

Soft peaks mean that, when you lift the beaters, the mixture forms a peak which falls over or which does not stand.

At this stage, the beaten egg whites should look very soft and foamy.

Step 3

Next, add the sugar, one spoon at a time, until the egg whites transform into a thick and glossy mixture, and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters.

Stiff peaks mean that, when you lift the beaters, the mixture forms a peak which holds its shape.

It is important to make sure that the sugar has been completely dissolved in the egg white mixture, but it is also important to not over-beat the mixture once you start adding the sugar.

To test that the sugar has been completely dissolved, simply rub a bit of mixture in between your finger tips.

Step 4

Add the cornflour, vinegar, vanilla and cocoa powder. A few rotations of the stand mixer should be enough to mix in these ingredients.

Fold through the chopped chocolate.

The resulting pavlova mixture should be thick and firm, and it should hold its shape when you start piling it on the baking tray.

If the pavlova mixture is soft and runny, and you are unable to shape it into a high pavlova because the mixture keeps sliding, it means that you may have overbeaten the eggwhites or that you added the sugar too soon. Please see the FAQs on this page.

Step 5

Shape the pavlova on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

I recommend that you smooth the top of the pavlova so that it is relatively flat. This is so the whipping cream and any toppings which you add later can sit nicely on the pavlova.

If your pavlova is domed in shape, any cream and toppings which you add later will quickly slide off.

Step 6

Place the pavlova into the oven at 180°C/350°F.

Immediately turn down the temperature to 150°C/300°F.

Let the pavlova bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and do not open the oven door during this time.

After the baking time, turn off the oven, and leave the pavlova to cool inside the closed oven for at least 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight.

Step 7

Decorate the pavlova just before serving, otherwise the pavlova will soften and collapse.

Whip the cream until it is thick and soft. Dollop the cream onto the pavlova, top with fresh raspberries, and coarsely grate over some dark chocolate.

step by step photos for decorating a chocolate pavlova

What to Serve with Chocolate Pavlova

As pavlovas tend to be very sweet, I think it is important balance out that sweetness with something tart. That’s why classic pavlovas pair so well with sour fruits such as passionfruit, kiwi fruit, and berries like raspberries and strawberries which can be slightly sour.

But some of the fruits which you would use for a classic pavlova may not always pair well with chocolate.

For a chocolate pavlova, I think raspberries – or a mix or raspberries and blackberries – are a perfect match.

If you are a fan of chocolate and passionfruit, I also recommend that combination, but I recognise that this combination is a bit exotic for some.

The only time I would stray from topping a pavlova with something tart is when I am making my Mont Blanc Pavlova – a chocolate pavlova which is topped with sweetened chestnut cream and whipped cream.

And speaking of whipped cream, I am strongly in favour of non-sweetened whipped cream. The pavlova is sweet enough.

chocolate pavlova with whipped cream and fresh raspberries on white platter

Chocolate Christmas Pavlova Wreath

To make a Christmas Pavlova Wreath, simply follow the recipe below.

To shape the wreath, draw a 25 cm/10 inch circle on sheet of baking paper. Turn the baking paper over. Use a large piping bag to pipe 8 large rounds within the circle. Alternatively, use a large spoon to dollop mounds of the mixture to form a wreath shape. Bake for 1 hour. Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven as per the recipe.

{Christmas Pavlova Wreath recipe with step-by-step photos}
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Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries

5 from 5 reviews

  • Resting Time: 3 hours
  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 75 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Australian

A delightful Chocolate Pavlova with a crispy shell and chewy centre, topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Follow this chocolate pavlova recipe with step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Pavlova

For Topping

  • 300 ml (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) double cream (heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 punnet fresh raspberries
  • dark chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate, about 70% cocoa), for grating

Instructions

To make the pavlova

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C (without fan).
  2. Using a standmixer or electric beaters, whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until they have tripled in volume and soft peaks form.
  3. Turn the speed down to low and slowly add the caster sugar, one spoon at a time until the sugar is well incorporated. As you add the sugar, the mixture will start to become thick and glossy, and stiff peaks will form when you lift the beaters.
  4. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Rub a bit of the mixture between your fingertips to test if the sugar has been fully dissolved; if you don’t feel any grains of sugar, move onto the next step.
  6. Add the cornflour, white wine vinegar, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. I do this on low speed with the stand mixer for only 2 to 3 rotations (about 1 second).
  7. Fold through the chopped chocolate.

To shape the pavlova

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spoon the pavlova mixture onto the tray into a round shape. I like to dollop the mixture on top of each other into a high pile, and to then shape the pavlova from there – using this method ensures that your pavlova will have some height.
  2. Use a palette knife to shape the sides of the pavlova and to slightly flatten the top. The pavlova will expand and rise once cooked, so shape it to be on the slightly smaller side. 

To bake the pavlova

  1. Place the pavlova in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 300°F/150°C (without fan).
  2. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Do not open the oven door during this time.
  3. After 1 hour and 15 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the oven door closed so the pavlova can cool down completely. You should leave the pavlova in the oven for at least 2-3 hours, but overnight (12-18 hours) is best.

To decorate the pavlova

  1. The pavlova should be decorated only just before serving.
  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
  3. Dollop the whipped cream on top of the pavlova, top with raspberries, and grate over some chocolate to decorate.

Kitchen Notes

CHRISTMAS PAVLOVA WREATH
Draw a 25 cm/10 inch circle on a sheet of baking paper and turn it over (so that the ink is not touching the pavlova). Use a large piping bag to pipe 8 large rounds within the circle. Alternatively, use a large spoon to dollop the mixture into a wreath shape. Bake for 1 hour. See full recipe for Christmas Pavlova Wreath.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
I like to make the pavlova first thing in the morning so that it can slowly cool and dry in the oven until I need to serve it later in the evening. You could even make the pavlova 1-2 days in advance and keep it in an air-tight container. The chestnut purée can be made a couple of days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

RECIPE CREDIT
This recipe is inspired by the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova by Nigella Lawson in Forever Summer.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

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5 comments

  1. Rachel 24 December 2022

    Excellent recipe! I had never tried a chocolate pavlova before and this was absolutely delicious.

    Reply
  2. Amy 24 December 2022

    I saw your photos on IG stories and followed your instructions to make a pavlova wreath. Wow! It looks so stunning. I didn’t know it would be so easy. This will be my Christmas dessert for many years to come!

    Reply
  3. Samantha 28 December 2022

    Hello, I made your chocolate pavlova wreath for Boxing Day and it was lovely. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Jonathan 30 December 2022

    Excellent! This chocolate pavlova is something a bit different to the usual pavlova but it tastes amazing.

    Reply
  5. Emma 17 January 2023

    Stunning pavlova! Chocolate pavlova is now my favourite.

    Reply