A crispy and sweet meringue shell gives way to a marshmallow-like, interior with bitter dark chocolate swirls and toasted pistachios. And, the topping of whipped cream and fruit take the presentation to the next level.
Swiss Meringue Pavlova
- ⅓ cup Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 ½ cups Caster Sugar
- 6-7 large egg whites Egg Whites, room temperature
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Cornstarch (add ½ teaspoon for rainy, humid days)
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Lightly Salted & Roasted Pistachios, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups Fresh Raspberries
- 1 ½ teaspoons Granulated Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
Raspberry Whipped Cream
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 Tablespoons Icing Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoons Kirschwasser, optional
- ½ cup Fresh Raspberries
- ¼ cup Lightly Salted & Roasted Pistachios, chopped
Position one oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil, in the center of the parchment paper, lightly trace a 22cm circle along the bottom of a 22cm cake pan.
Make the meringue: Place the chopped chocolate in a small heat proof bowl. Place in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir the chocolate with a spatula until it has melted, about 1-1.5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium heat proof mixing bowl, add the sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl over a large saucepan filled with 3cm of simmering water set over a stove. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Using a hand whisk, gently whisk the mixture until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture registers to 5-8 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set over a towel shaped in a ring (this will prevent it from moving on the counter). Fit the KitchenAid® 9-Speed Hand Mixer with the whisk attachment. Place the whisk into the warmed egg white mixture, and turn the mixer to speed 9. Mix, moving the whisk in circles to help aerate the meringue, until it forms stiff peaks and has a sheen, 5-8 minutes. Reduce to speed 3, and while mixing, add the vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Turn the mixer back to speed 9 and whip for another 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer.
Using a large spatula, gently fold in the pistachios. Drizzle the melted chocolate (make sure it's not too hot or it will deflate the meringue) over the top of the meringue. Fold about 5 turns, taking care not to completely fold in the chocolate - it will naturally swirl as you shape the round!
Dollop a bit of meringue onto each corner of the rimmed baking sheet. Press the parchment (marked side down) onto the baking sheet to help secure the paper.
Using a spatula or large spoon, gently mound the meringue in the center of the drawn circle. Spread and smooth the meringue, building a 9-inch round that is slightly higher along the edges. The finished round should measure about 4cm.
Place the meringue in the center rack in the oven. Bake until the meringue is light in color, dry, and releases easily from the parchment when lifted with a large offset spatula, 1-1.5 hours.
Turn off the oven, and prop the door open. Let the meringue cool, undisturbed, for another 1.5 hours, then remove the meringue from the oven and let cool completely on the baking pan.
While the meringue is cooling, make the topping: In a small bowl add the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to macerate.
Make the raspberry whipped cream: In a large mixing bowl, add the heavy whipping cream, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and kirschwasser. Fit the hand mixer with the whisk attachment. Place the whisk into the cream and turn to speed 4. Mix until the whisk starts to leave a trail, about 1 minute, then increase to speed 8 and whip until the whipped cream forms medium peaks, another 30-45 seconds. Reduce to speed 3 and gradually add the raspberries. Mix until the raspberries have broken up, then increase to speed 8 and whip for an additional 30 seconds. Place the bowl in the fridge until ready for assembly.
Assemble the Pavlova: Using a large offset spatula (or maybe two, one on each side), carefully remove the meringue from the parchment, and slide the meringue on a serving platter. Mound the raspberry whipped cream onto the meringue, creating an even layer. Then, using a slotted spoon, evenly spoon the raspberry mixture over the whipped cream. Garnish with the chopped pistachios. Let the meringue sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Because the weights of eggs can vary, it is best to measure the egg whites by weight or volume to ensure the right ratio of egg white and sugar for the meringue.
Meringue can be tricky to make, so here are a few things to consider when making your meringue:
- Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature, and that no yolk is present in the bowl.
- Rain and humidity have a negative impact on your meringue. Add an additional ½ teaspoon of cornstarch on rainy, humid days.
- Make sure you don't overbeat the meringue, or it will collapse when baking.
Weather tip: In humid weather a meringue can turn soft and sticky fairly quick - and in really humid conditions you may even find it difficult to bake properly.
Storage: It’s best to store meringues, without toppings, in an airtight container at room temp. (Don’t store in the refrigerator since that is a very moist environment.) Also make sure the meringue is completely cooled before storage, otherwise moisture will be trapped in the container and soften the meringue. Meringue should be used within 24 hours.
Mix It Up!
For Individual pavlovas, follow these instructions:
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace six 3-in/7.62-cm circles (3 circles per baking sheet)
- Once ready to shape the meringue, using two large spoons, scoop a mound into the center of one circle. Use the back of the other spoon to create an indentation in the center. Repeat with the other 5 circles.
- Bake time will be closer to 35-55 minutes.
- Divide the raspberry cream and topping evenly between the individual meringues.