About three years ago on Christmas Eve, when Lou was just a little pup and refused to sleep in…..I was up crazy early watching The Great British Baking Show Christmas Masterclass (as one does at 4:00 AM). On the episode, Mary Berry made the most gorgeous pavlova wreath and, for some reason, I decided I had to make one myself. Right then. So I busted out a pavlova at 5:00 AM for our Christmas Eve dinner that night. And the funny thing is that the husband loved it so much that it’s now become a tradition for us to make pavlovas for the holidays. I typically make one for our big Christmas dinner and then another one for New Year’s Eve. Usually, it’s a pretty standard pavlova topped with either passion fruit or mango curd, lots of freshly whipped cream, and an assortment of berries. But this year I decided it was time to change things up a bit and came up this Chocolate Swirled Raspberry Hazelnut Pavlova for our New Year’s one.
This might be my favorite recipe I developed all year. I probably say that a lot, but I really cannot get enough of this Chocolate Swirled Raspberry Hazelnut Pavlova! On its own, each component is so crazy good. And when assembled all together……well, it’s just magical. Or at least that’s how I felt when I had some! It starts with a delicate chocolate swirled meringue with a crisp exterior, marshmallowy interior, and swirls of melty dark chocolate. Then it’s topped with a decadent and silky hazelnut cream, even more dark chocolate, a pile of tart raspberries, and a handful of toasted hazelnuts. Just writing about it makes me wish I had some right now!
Pavlovas can be a little tricky. The meringue can be temperamental and there are a few variables you need to consider. Especially if you don’t want your meringue to crack too much (a little cracking is okay, but you don’t want giant cracks all over) or weep. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back! My top five tips for making the perfect pavlova are below. So be sure to have a read through those before tackling the recipe.
Hope you guys have a very happy New Year! And I hope you give this Chocolate Swirled Raspberry Hazelnut Pavlova a try. You never know….it might end up being a holiday tradition for you as well!
Tips for Making the Perfect Pavlova
- Use room temperature egg whites. Cold egg whites don’t whip as well, so make sure to give yourself some time to let them warm up.
- Whip the egg whites on medium speed instead of high speed. It takes a little more time, but whipping them at medium speed creates smaller air bubbles which leads to a more stable meringue.
- Gradually and slowly add the sugar to the egg whites. It’s important to really take your time with this step. You want to give the sugar time to completely dissolve otherwise you run the risk of the meringue weeping. A good way to test if the sugar is dissolved is to rub a little bit of the meringue between your fingers. If you feel any sugar crystals, then keep on whipping! If it feels smooth, then you’re good to go.
- On that same note, I like to use superfine sugar (also called baker’s sugar) when making meringue. The finer sugar crystals incorporate and dissolve more easily into the egg whites.
- When the meringue is baking, don’t open the oven door. Temperature fluctuations can cause the meringue to crack, so try to keep the door closed……even after you turn the oven off to let it cool in there! I know it’s tempting to check on it, but try to wait at least an hour after you turn the oven off to open the door.
Chocolate Swirled Raspberry Hazelnut Pavlova (Gluten-free)
A delicate chocolate swirled meringue topped with a decadent hazelnut cream and tart raspberries.
- Yield: makes two 6-inch pavlova or one large 9-inch pavlova
For the meringue:
• 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
• 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 ounce melted dark chocolate (or roughly 1 – 2 tablespoons)
For the hazelnut cream:
• 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
• ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons Amoretti® Natural Hazelnut Praline
For the assembly:
• 1 pint raspberries
• ¼ cup toasted, skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
• Melted dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use a pencil to draw either two 6-inch circles or one 9-inch circle on the paper (use a cake pan as a guide). Then flip the paper over so the pencil mark doesn’t get on your meringue!
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Continue beating at medium speed and gradually add in the sugar one spoonful at a time. Take your time with this process! You want to give the sugar time to fully dissolve. Once you’ve added in all the sugar, continue beating at medium speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are thick, glossy, and form stiff peaks. To test if the meringue is ready – rub a little bit of it between your fingers. If you feel any sugar crystals, keep on whipping! If it feels smooth, then you’re good to go!
Sprinkle the cornstarch, white wine vinegar, and vanilla extract over the meringue and beat on low speed until completely incorporated.
Spoon the meringue in the center of the circle you drew on the parchment paper and then use the circle as a guide to spread the meringue into a circular shape. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate all over the meringue and then use a toothpick or wooden skewer to gently swirl the chocolate. Make sure not to swirl it too much. You don’t want to completely mix it in – you just want to create pretty swirls.
Place the meringue in the oven and immediately drop the temperature to 250°F. Bake for one hour. Then turn the oven off and let the meringue cool in the oven for at least one hour. You can also leave it in there overnight if need be!
To make the hazelnut cream, use either a hand or stand mixer to beat the cream at medium speed until soft peaks form. Then add in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold in the hazelnut praline.
To assemble the pavlova, gently spread the hazelnut cream on top of the meringue. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the hazelnut cream and then top with the raspberries and hazelnuts.
Keywords: gluten-free, pavlova, hazelnut, chocolate