This cake is just as sweet as any meringue dessert, but the bitter chocolate mousse together with the cherry tartness balance that sweetness. If you don't want to cook the topping and the mousse, then just fill the Pavlova with sugar-free whipped cream and decorate it with fresh berries.
Ingredients for the diameter of 16 cm (6.3 inch):
- Egg whites - 120 g | 4.25 oz
- Powdered sugar - 240 g | 8.45 oz
- Salt - a pinch
- Lemon juice - 2/3 tsp
- Corn starch - 1 tbsp
- Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
- Apple cider vinegar - 1 tsp
- Whisk the egg whites at room temperature with salt and lemon juice at the medium speed of the mixer until soft peaks, increase the speed, and gradually add all the powdered sugar, whip the mass until strong peaks.
- When the mixer bowl is turned over, the whipped egg whites must remain in the bowl. Add the vinegar and starch; carefully stir the meringue base with a spatula.
- Then add the cocoa powder, and mix with a spatula literally twice to leave beautiful stains. Turn the oven on at 100C (212F).
- Put the meringue base on a baking sheet with a silicone mat, form a barrel with walls and a dimple in the middle. Place it in the oven and bake for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Turn off the oven; cool it down, and remove the dessert.
While the base is cooling, cook the mousse and the cherry topping.
- Bitter chocolate - 130 g | 4.60 oz
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Water - 120 g | 4.25 oz
- Rum / cognac / whiskey - 1.5 tbsp
- Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, put on medium heat, and whisk with a spatula, until the mass gets smooth. The chocolate should melt (do not burn!). Cool to the room temperature.
- Make an “ice bath” (put ice / something frozen under the bottom of the bowl in which you will whip the mousse). For example, you can pull the box out of the freezer and whip the mousse while keeping the bowl in it. Start whisking at low mixer speed. Then increase the speed and whip until the desired density.
- Place the mousse in a pastry bag. Do not over-whip the mousse – it can make some difficulties in squeezing the mousse out of the pastry bag.
- Pitted cherries - 150 g | 5.30 oz
- Sugar - 10 g | 0.35 oz
- Rum / cognac / whiskey - 1 tbsp
- Starch - 3 g | 0.10 oz
- Cinnamon / vanillin - a pinch
- Defrost the cherries, add the sugar, alcohol and cinnamon / vanillin. Boil. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the cherry juice into a separate container, mix thoroughly with a starch. Add the juice back to the cherry and stir until thickened. Stir constantly, but gently so as not to crush the berries. Cool the mixture down.
- Put the mousse from the pastry bag into the cooled base, then put the cherries on top. Keep refrigerated.