Layered Chocolate Pavlova

Layered Chocolate Pavlova | Gather and Graze

So it’s Australia Day tomorrow… and Australia Day simply wouldn’t be Australia Day without a pavlova making it’s way onto the table at some point during the day! A couple of weeks ago… in fact it was on New Years Eve, I decided to make a trial pavlova. It was my first ever layered pavlova and what could be better than chocolate meringue to give a lovely contrast in colours with the whipped cream and red berries! I’ll be making a similar version of this tomorrow to have after our dinner… barbeque’d something it will certainly be… though I’m not too sure what. Come to think of it, prawns might be nice!

You may notice that photos of this cake cut into slices, plated with dainty cake forks by their side, are quietly absent. How wonderful it would be to show you a perfectly sliced cross-section of all those beautiful layers of meringue, cream and berries… stacked up so nice and high! Well… a food bloggers photo shoot doesn’t always work out the way she plans it, does it!? It was all good, ’til I went and stuck the knife in! Hmm… to put it politely… what a DELICIOUS MESS! The family didn’t mind at all, but for the sake of keeping this blog on the prettier side, no further photos were taken. Oh and I’ve decided to keep all future layered pavlovas to the double-decker variety only!

Happy Australia Day!

Layered Chocolate Pavlova | Gather and Graze

  • 4 Free-Range Egg Whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 220g/1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Cornflour (Sifted)
  • 1 Teaspoon White Vinegar (or Verjuice)
  • 30g/4 Tablespoons (Good Quality) Cocoa Powder (Sifted)
  • 350ml Cream
  • Fresh Red Berries (I used a mixture of Raspberries and sliced Strawberries)

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and prepare 2 baking trays by lining them with baking paper. You may also wish to draw some circle templates on the paper, to better guarantee that your meringue discs will be the same size.

Place the egg whites and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high until they come to soft peaks. Continue whisking as you slowly pour in the caster sugar and the mixture will soon come to stiff peaks. With the mixer set to low, now fold through the cornflour, vinegar and cocoa powder. Whisk slowly until completely incorporated.

Scoop out the meringue onto the baking paper into 2 (or 3 if you’re going for the tripe tier!) equal portions and shape into flattish discs of equal diameter. My 3 tiers were about 15cm across each… for a 2 tier cake, I would make them approximately 20cm across.

Place into the oven, reduce the temperature to 120°C immediately and bake for 1 hour. When the hour is up, keep the oven door shut and turn off the oven… leaving the meringue discs inside to completely cool.

Assemble the pavlova (not too far in advance from serving it), by placing a meringue disc on your serving plate, slather on a layer of freshly whipped cream and a scattering of fruit, then sit the other meringue disc on top, more cream and then decorate with an abundance of beautiful fresh berries.

Layered Chocolate Pavlova | Gather and Graze

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42 thoughts on “Layered Chocolate Pavlova

  1. teamhay

    An overdue hug and kiss for how totally delicious your pav was – SCRUMPTIOUS!! And my dear Margo you could pull of a double / triple / quadruple decker pav without any dramas I am totally SURE! xxx

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      How lovely it was to be able to share it with you guys Carol! Thanks for the wonderfully, relaxing afternoon on your back deck, chatting, sipping on wine and coffee and nibbling on food. Thanks also for your very flattering comment – so sweet of you! M.xx

      Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Thank you Stefano! Pavlova is one of those special cakes that only makes it onto our table a handful of times each year, though it’s adored and practically inhaled every time it does! 🙂

      Reply
  2. jothetartqueen

    I know what you mean about the mess the pavlova makes when you cut into it. I did try but it was just a mess! And to be fair, I’ve never seen pretty photos of the cut ones! Am sure your family had great fun time tucking into it!

    And thankfully you manage to take a pretty photo of your pavlova all pretty when stacked up! I love it with raspberries! Happy Australia day to you Margot!

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Ah that’s so true Jo… you really don’t see too many photos of the cut ones, do you!? With my love of raspberries, it’s hard to top my pavs with anything else at this time of year! Despite the fact that kiwi fruit, mangoes and passionfruit are all delicious as well! 🙂 Thanks for your kind comment Jo!

      Reply
  3. milkandbun

    Happy Australia Day, dear Margot! Pavlova and meringues are one of my fav, I can eat them everu day, I swear! 😀 but Im not very good in cooking them. I wish you lived the next door..:D

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks very much Mila! I would love to be able to offer you a big slice of pavlova! Not quite the same, but please accept a virtual slice, along with a glass of champagne to celebrate Australia Day! 😉

      Reply
  4. Francesca

    I think you did such a great job! To cut a slice must be a nightmare. Plus there is mess and there is mess! Sometimes, in food photography, a little mess or imperfection can turn a beautiful photo into a work of art. Something uniquely special. 😉

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      I think you’re right Francesca… I definitely should have at least tried to take a few shots to see what I could make of it. Food doesn’t always need to look perfect on the plate… though at the time, I really did think it was beyond all hope of any further photos. Plus the family was hungry and ready to dig in! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Kitsch n flavours

    It’s a shame your boys weren’t taking photos! Or were they too busy laughing. And I’m sure you’re being harsh. Nothing quite as delicious as a messy plate piled high with meringue and fruit. Hmm, chocolate meringue. Don’t think I’ve tried that before. Sounds heavenly. Whatever you get up to during Australia Day I’m hoping it goes really well. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      The photos could have been hilarious! Perhaps I should have taken some… just for a laugh. 🙂 The chocolate meringue works really well… though there’s one in the family who still prefers the chocolate-chip pav that I usually make! Impossible to please them all! 😉
      We had a fun Australia Day, catching up with friends who we don’t get to see often enough – ’twas a lovely afternoon!

      Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi Tracey, I guess in a similar way that Thanksgiving will bring out the usual food suspects (turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie), Australia Day will do the same… though with the likes of lamingtons, pavlovas, meat pies, bbq’d prawns, in fact bbq’d anything! Food that speaks Australia… well to the Aussies anyway!
      Oh yes, the boys were more than happy to scoff all that was on their plates! 🙂

      Reply
  6. sam @ nourish

    I know what you mean about the whole thing dissolving beneath your knife Margot! I’ve been making quite a few stone fruit crostata this summer with the abundance of fruit that around right now, but haven’t yet perfected the recipe to be post-worthy. The spelt pastry that I’m loving at the moment is just too fragile to behave in front of a camera. A delicious mess is the perfect description for what we end up with! Happy Australia Day xo

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      These naughty desserts… not behaving in front of the camera! 😉 The stone fruit crostata sounds wonderful Sam. I have some plums from the market that would be lovely turned into something like that – thanks for the inspiration! Happy Australia Day to you too.

      Reply
  7. ladyredspecs

    Oh I understand that messy pav scenario, but if you let it sit for an hour or 2 with the fillings, it softens just enough to enable you to cut it cleanly. I love the sound of raspberry and chocolate! Have a good one….

    Reply
  8. Jess

    Ah yes, I can relate with those food blogger ‘woes’. If it doesn’t look like it will photograph well, I just don’t try it. But this pavlova DOES look very delicious so good job anyway 😉

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Jess, very kind of you! I really love the photography aspect of food blogging, but it still feels a little unpredictable as to what I’ll end up with… I’d love to sign up for a digital SLR photography course sometime this year, to have more confidence in what I’m doing. Cheers, Margot

      Reply
  9. apuginthekitchen

    So beautiful, the cake is just gorgeous, it’s really hard to cut a neat slice of pavlova. It ends up looking more like Eton Mess than a slice. It is delicious though I love your chocolate meringue. Delicious and a very happy Australia Day to you and yours!!

    Reply
    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Suzanne! The laughter that came from my 2 boys as they watched me attempt to slice this, so hopeful for a picture-perfect shot, was priceless! 🙂 As always… it’s the taste that matters! Looking forward to a relaxing family day tomorrow.

      Reply

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