This is an easy recipe for a chocolate pavlova topped with whipped cream and pomegranate seeds. Feel free to use berries or slices of orange instead.
Removing the seeds from a pomegranate
Here's how I recommend getting the seeds out of a pomegranate.
- Cut the fruit in half, and using your hands, carefully break the halves into quarters
- Working over a large, deep bowl, gently pry out all the seeds with your fingertips, breaking the pomegranate wedges into sections as you go. It's not hard. It doesn't take very long. The seeds are clearly clustered as you can see when you open one up. It's just a matter of revealing each pocket of seeds and emptying it out.
- When all the seeds have been freed, fill the bowl containing the pomegranate seeds with water: the little leftover bits of the peel/pith will float up to the surface so you can easily scoop them out. Drain, et voilà!
Do not beat the fruit with a wooden spoon to extract the seeds. It's not necessary and this method doesn't work well.
If you find that pomegranate juices are splashing everywhere as you try to extract the seeds from the fruit, place the quartered fruit in a deep bowl of water and remove the seeds under water. This way, no juices will splash.
Pavlovas are usually served with fresh fruit. I served these with fresh pomegranate seeds. If you don't have pomegranates or they aren't in season, you can also serve pavlovas with:
- fresh berries (I love to serve them with raspberries)
- fresh passionfruit
- three fruit marmalade, orange marmalade, or grapefruit marmalade
- a bright curd, like lemon curd, passionfruit curd, or even grapefruit curd
- salted caramel sauce
Making chocolate pavlovas
Pavlovas are like meringues, but different. There's a chew to them that typical meringues don't usually have. Pavlovas are crispy and kind of hollow. I love the way they break apart in large flakes when you cut into them.
To make chocolate pavlovas, all you have to do is fold some cocoa powder into the stiff meringue when you are folding in the vinegar. Don't let their pale exterior fool you: the combination of cocoa powder and dark chocolate in these pavlovas makes for a real hit of chocolate.
How to serve them
Top pavlovas with anything you like. I definitely recommend lots of whipped cream, and pomegranate seeds (or fresh berries, if it's the season). Pavlovas are the perfect remedy for the winter blues.
- 90 grams (3 ) large egg whites
- 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 22.5 mL (1½ tbsp) Cacao Barry extra brute cocoa powder
- 2.5 mL (½ tsp) white vinegar
- 25 grams (2 tbsp) dark chocolate chopped
- 250 mL (1 cup) whipping cream (35 % fat)
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) icing sugar
- 250 mL (1 cup) pomegranate arils
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer running, gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until the meringue is firm.
- Sift the cocoa powder over top, then sprinkle in the vinegar, and the chopped chocolate, and gently but quickly fold until everything is incorporated.
- Dollop the chocolate pavlova mixture onto the baking sheets, placing about 3 or 4 on each sheet, leaving room for them to expand in the oven. Swirl and smooth the dollops with an offset spatula.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven, and then lower the oven temperature to 300ºF. Bake the pavlovas for about 30 minutes, then turn off the oven, prop open the door, and let them cool completely (I left them overnight because it’s winter and there was no worry of humidity in the house).
- When you are ready to serve the pavlovas, whip the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl.Add the icing sugar and continue whipping to the desired consistency (don't overwhip or you'll make butter!).
- Serve the pavlovas with generous amounts of whipped cream and pomegranate seeds.
Original recipe: Nigella Lawson