- 100 g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa), chopped
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup (220 g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 250 g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (40 g) icing (confectioners') sugar
- 300 ml thickened (heavy) cream
- Fresh cherries with stems attached
- 2 cups (300 g) cherries, halved, pitted
- 1 cup (150 g) blueberries
- ⅓ cup (75 g) caster (superfine) sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- ¼ cup (80 g) cherry jam
Preheat oven to 120 C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Mark an 18 cm circle on paper.
Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water (don’t allow bowl to touch water); stir until just melted. Cool slightly.
Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; gradually add caster sugar, beating until dissolved after each addition, and mixture is thick and glossy.
Fold cornflour and vinegar into meringue mixture; swirl in chocolate. Dollop meringue inside marked circle on tray.
Bake meringue for 1¼ hrs or until dry to the touch. Turn oven off, leave meringue to cool in oven with door ajar.
Meanwhile, make cherry blueberry compote: Place cherries, blueberries, sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 mins or until cherries and blueberries have released juices. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries and blueberries to a small bowl. Stir jam into juices in pan; bring to the boil. Boil for 5 mins or until mixture thickens. Pour syrup over cherry mixture. Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, extract and icing sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually beat in cream until smooth and combined.
Just before serving, spoon cream cheese mixture on pavlova; top with compote. Decorate with fresh cherries.
MAKE AHEAD The pavlova can be made a day ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature. Topping is best made close to serving. To check that you have beaten the meringue sufficiently, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers it should feel silky smooth, without any grainy sugar crystals.