Raspberry pavlova

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Pavlova is a wonderful summer dessert and very easy to make. We made the most out of seasonal raspberries by using them fresh as well as blitzing into a coulis and stirring through the cream for a bit of texture. A scattering of mint adds a lovely freshness – little basil leaves or something equally fragrant like lemon balm would also work well. Finishing with dark chocolate gives the dessert a welcome bitter note, but go for white chocolate if thats more your thing.

1
Begin by making the meringue. Preheat the oven to 120°C/gas mark ½
2
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then beat the sugar into the egg whites – add the sugar bit by bit and whisk it into the egg white after each addition. Keep going until you've incorporated all the sugar into the egg white – the finished whites should be thick and glossy
3
Fold in the vinegar and cornstarch (this will give your meringue a nice chewy texture in the centre)
4
Spoon the meringue onto a greaseproof lined tray. Use a spatula to shape it into a circular shape, around 6cm high
5
Bake in the oven for around an hour – the pavlova should release itself from the greaseproof paper and the outside should be dry and crisp
6
Whip the cream with the vanilla essence and 70g of raspberries. The raspberries will break up and bleed into the cream giving it beautiful pink streaks and a bit of texture
7
Place 100g of the remaining raspberries in a small pan with ½ tsp of icing sugar and gently crush to release a little juice. Cook down for about 5 minutes until they have collapsed, then use a hand blender to blitz into a coulis. Leave to cool
8
To assemble the pavlova, place the meringue base on a serving platter. Spread over the cream and drizzle over the raspberry coulis. Top with the remaining fresh raspberries and mint leaves. Use a peeler to create little curls of dark chocolate directly over the pavlova and serve
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