A decadent and delightful mess
Serves 10
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A gorgeous chocolate, cherries and mixed berry pavlova makes a great show-stopper to end a dinner party, birthday celebration or date night on a sweet note.


  • 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.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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