Chocolate Pavlova with poached pears recipe image

Print Chocolate Pavlova with poached pears

Crisp outside with a marshmallow-soft centre, this grown up Pavlova recipe ticks all the boxes for a great dessert. If possible, make the pears the day before, so that they have time to fully absorb the flavours.

Ingredients

  • for the Pavlova:
  • 6 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • for the poached pears:
  • 4 pears, peeled & cored, with stalks left on
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 230g caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml double cream, to serve
  • Few squares of dark chocolate, to top the pavlova

Method

  1. To make the Pavlova: Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. In a bowl beat the egg whites until they are shiny and form peaks.
  2. A spoon at a time, gently fold in the sugar until the mixture is stiff. Add the cocoa, chocolate, vinegar and fold into the mixture.
  3. Place the mixture onto the baking tray and form into a circle about 25cm, gently flatten the top. Place in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/Gas 2. Cook for about 1-1¼ hours, until the sides and top are crispy but the middle still has some give to it if gently pressed.
  4. Turn off the oven and leave the Pavlova inside to cool down.
  5. Make the poached pears while you are waiting: Cut a small slice off the bottom of the pears and sit them in a small pan so they are upright if you can. (If they will not stay upright, turn them occasionally as they cook). Add enough water to just cover the pears, then add the vanilla pods, sugar and lemon juice.
  6. Heat to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the pears are tender. (The timing will vary according to the variety, hardness and size of the pears).
  7. Once cooked, remove the pears from the cooking liquid and leave to one side to cool. Once the pears and the Pavlova have cooled completely, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
  8. Spread over the Pavlova. Slice the pears and scatter over the top. Melt the extra dark chocolate, either in a bowl over a simmering pan of water or very careful in the microwave. Drizzle over the pears and serve.
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