My mum is the pavlova queen in our family, pavlova with cream, strawberries and passionfruit 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.

Chocolate Berry Pavlova 

Serves 8-10

prep time 10 minutes

cooking time 1 – 1¼ 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.