I have to say that I think that chocolate and cherries are one of my favourite combinations, they just go so well together! And by adding something a little boozy into the mix, you can pretty much guarantee that they’ll soon become a household favourite! The Pavlovas are wonderfully crisp on the outside…. but the best bit is the chewy inside…. utterly divine!
Mini Chocolate Pavlovas (makes 8)
4 Large Egg Whites (I used 8tbsp of Two Chicks Egg White Liquid)
75g Dark Chocolate (grated)
225g Caster Sugar
2tbsp Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Salt
1tsp Red Wine Vinegar
400ml Double Cream (to serve)
For the Baked Bourbon Cherries
350g Fresh Cherries (roughly two shop-bought punnets)
1tbsp Caster Sugar
3tbsp Bourbon (any make is just fine!)
1. Preheat the oven to 230°c / 210°c Fan / 450°F and place the Cherries onto an oven proof dish so that they’re in a single layer. Sprinkle over 1tbsp Caster Sugar and 1tbsp Bourbon. Pop into the oven for around 15 minutes (giving the dish a wee shake every 5 minutes) until the Cherries have started to break down. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once they’ve cooled, remove the stones (be careful of the juice!!) and roughly chop before placing into a jar with the other 2tbsp of Bourbon and all the cherry juice that you have. Place into the fridge while you get on with the meringues.
1. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 180°c / 160°c Fan / 350°F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. Whisk the 4 Egg Whites & Salt until stiff peaks then, still whisking on high-speed, add the 225g Caster Sugar a spoonful at a time. You’ll hear the mixture getting thicker & it will now be wonderfully glossy.
3. Now add your 2tbsp Cocoa Powder and 1tsp Red Wine Vinegar and mix again on a slow speed to prevent the Cocoa Powder flying back out again! Stop whisking once fully combined before finally gently folding in 50g Grated Chocolate with a large metal spoon (this reduces knocking out the air).
4. Scoop the meringue mixture carefully into a large piping bag with a large open nozzle and pipe 4 nests onto each sheet.
5. Place into the oven, reducing the temperature to 160°c / 140°c Fan / 310°F as soon as you’ve closed the door & bake for 30 minutes, then switch off the oven and leave the trays inside (without opening the door for a sneaky peek) for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven & transfer your mini Pavlovas to a cooling rack to cool completely.
6. Once cooled, you can prepare your toppings! Place 400ml of Double Cream into a bowl and whisk until you reach a soft peak stage. Dollop your Cream on top of each Pavlova & finish with a scoop of boozy Cherries, finishing with a final grating of 25g Dark Chocolate.
Hints and tips
– Remove the cherry stones over a bowl so you can collect as much juice as possible.
– If you’re not a fan of cherries then substitute for another fruit, raspberries work particularly well with chocolate!
Melanie, Food Adventurer