This decadent chocolate and dulce de leche pavlova will awe your guests — from the tiny ones to the grown-ups.
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup superfine or instant dissolving sugar
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp unsweetened coca powder
1/4 cup 35% cream
2 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate, (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup store bought dulce de leche, or thick caramel spread
2 tbsp toasted hazelnut, skinned and coarsely chopped
1 cup raspberries, (optional)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Trace an 8-in. circle on parchment paper, turn it over — you don’t want ink or pencil transferring to your pavlova — and place it on a baking sheet.
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Add sugar and salt to egg whites a spoonful at a time, while beating, until fully combined, thick and shiny. You’ll know it’s ready if you pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers and don’t feel any grittiness; if you do, keep beating. Beat in vinegar and vanilla, then sprinkle over cornstarch and beat until just combined. Meringue will be very thick with drooping peaks.
Stir in cocoa powder until it’s swirled in.
Scrape meringue out onto prepared baking sheet in the middle of your 8-in. circle, then use a spatula to spread it out to the edges. Use your spatula to smooth sides of meringue up, and then hollow out the middle slightly to make it somewhat bowl-shaped.
Bake for 1 hr or until meringue is dry and crisp to the touch and can peel off of parchment paper, but centre is still soft and marshmallowy. Let cool.
Carefully transfer to a serving plate.
Place whipping cream in a small pot over medium-high heat and bring just to a boil.
Place chocolate in a bowl; pour cream over chocolate, let stand for 1 min, then stir until fully melted and incorporated. Let stand for about 10 min, stirring occasionally, until cooled and slightly thickened.
Dollop small spoonfuls of dulce de leche into the “bowl” of the pavlova and carefully spread in an even layer. Spoon thickened ganache overtop and spread to cover dulce de leche. Sprinkle hazelnuts and raspberries (if using) overtop. Slice pavlova and serve.
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