Chocolate Berry Pavlova

My mum is the pavlova queen in our family, pavlova
with cream, strawberries and passion
fruit ) were always on the entertaining menu for our gatherings. The
trick she gave me was to pile the mixture up really high… I mean as high as you
without it falling over. WHY? Because mum loves the marshmallow in the centre
of the pav, and this trick ensures you get loads of mallow. It also means that
it will crack, and it will flop, BUT  this time we just cover that up with cream, cherries
and blueberries and this version even has some melted chocolate on it.

Serves 8-10 prep time 10 minutes cooking time 1- 1
¼ hours

6 egg whites

1 ½ cups caster sugar

1 Tbsp corn flour

1 Tbsp malt vinegar or white vinegar

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract or scraped beans
from 1 pod

250g frozen cherries and blueberries, thawed  

600ml thickened cream

150g dark chocolate, melted, cooled

 

1 Preheat oven to 180c, or 160c fan. Line a circular
tray (the pizza trays with the holes in the base are really good for this) with
baking paper.

2 In a large bowl beat egg whites with an electric
beater for 4-5 minutes on medium speed till soft peaks form. Gradually add the
caster sugar and beat on high speed scraping down the sides between additions,
beating till thick and glossy. With a large metal spoon fold in corn flour, vinegar
and vanilla. Stir till combined.

3 Pile the meringue really high in the centre of
the prepared tray with a diameter of about 12-15 cm. Reduce the oven
temperature to 120c, or 100c fan forced. And bake for 1 hour- 1 ¼ hours, till
the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Turn off oven and leave door ajar.
Cool completely in the oven.

4 In a small saucepan combine cherries and
blueberries with sugar and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat till slightly
thickened. Cool completely. With electric beaters, beat cream on medium speed till
thick.

5 Spread pavlova with cream, swirl over chocolate,
top with cooled berries and some of the syrup.

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