These simple chocolate pavlova with salted caramel sauce are show stopping. A simple make ahead dessert that’s perfect for feeding a crowd or the perfect valentine’s day dessert. Crispy meringue shell with a marshmallow inside, swirled with dark chocolate and drizzled with salted caramel sauce.
And on Fridays, we bake.
With the weekend just about here and valentine’s day right around the corner, I knew it was high time for us to work on our baking game. These chocolate pavlovas with salted Caramel sauce are the perfect thing to make on a weekend in January when there isn’t really a whole lot else to do.
Don’t be intimidated.
I know that making meringue can sometimes be intimidating. You hear horror stories about unstable mixtures. cracked shells and sinking layers. But I’ll fill you in on the tips and tricks to get meringue shells and pavlovas to co-operate and make you the dessert queen/king.
Always use a French meringue when making a pavlova. It’s uncooked and dried out in the oven to pasteurise the egg whites. For pavlova I think it’s the best option because the meringues will always turn out crisp and shiny on the outside and marshmallow-y on the inside. Exactly what you want.
How to make a stable meringue mixture
To make a stable meringue you gotta start with room temperature egg whites and the mixer on low, so that you get a million little bubbles. If you whack the mixer up right from the start you get a few really large bubbles. If one of them breaks, it makes a really unstable mix.
When you’ve got a million little bubbles your meringue is much more stable. Imagine it’s like building a house. If you build your foundation on 4 large bricks and one crumbles you have a problem. If you use 100 bricks and one crumbles, your house still won’t fall down. This is exactly the way meringue works.
Why do pavlovas need cornstarch and vinegar?
Great question! French meringues can have a tendency to weep (moisture seeping out). This is where corn starch and vinegar come into the mix. Cornstarch helps to suck up some of the excess moisture and the vinegar acid helps to firm it up a bit. That’s how you end up with really marshmallowy insides.
Once you have that super stable meringue all you need to do is swirl in some melted and cooled chocolate. Use a lined baking tray and spoon heaping piles of soft, pillowy meringue on to the tray. Leave in a low oven for a couple hours. Whip some cream and make a super simple and quick caramel sauce. The roasted peanuts are optional… but so worth it.
How long does it take mini pavlovas to cook?
Pavlovas have a longer cook time than most dessert simply because they need to “dry out” rather than actually bake. So large family style meringues/ pavlovas can sometimes need to be in the oven overnight. By making mini pavlovas we’ve shrunk that time down to 2 hours. And that’s just oven time. No actual hands on work from you.
Once you’ve spooned your chocolate swirled meringue mixture onto the tray, you’ll want to drizzle more chocolate on to them before you put them in the oven. This helps to create melted pools of chocolate on your finished pavlova.
Happy weekend baking and be sure to save this recipe for valentine’s day!
Chocolate Pavlova with Salted Caramel Sauce
- 200 g egg whites
- 400 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 100 g chocolate
- 125 g whipping cream
- 200 g sugar
- 90 g butter
- 120 ml whipping cream
- 5 g sea salt
- Honey roasted peanuts
- Pre-heat oven to 100c. Place egg whites and 350g sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start to whisk on low speed (#2) for about 5 minutes. Once you have lots of little bubbles turn the mixer up to high andcontinue to whisk. Add the corn starch and vinegar. While the meringue is still whisking add the last 50gsugar a Tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until you have a firm, stiff meringue mixture.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate onto the top to the meringue and gently fold the chocolate through. Spoon large dollops of this meringue onto greaseproof lined baking trays. Continue to drizzle the chocolate and fold and scoop the meringue onto the trays until all the mixture is used.
- Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 2 hours, or until the meringues come away from the baking paper without sticking.
For the caramel sauce
- Place a pan on a medium heat and melt the sugar a little at a time until all is melted. Leave on the heat until a deep golden brown caramel is reached. In increments add the butter dice. Be very careful. The caramel will bubble and spit. Mix this in well.
- Add the cream. Being very careful again with the bubbling and spitting. Finally add the sea salt and mix.
To build the pavlovas
- Dollop some whipped cream onto the top of the meringues and top that with the
- caramel sauce and roasted peanuts.