The Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop – or Why I ate Pavlova for breakfast

by Amanda McInerney on 26/11/2011

You may have noticed that I try to keep the focus of this blog on others – mainly the remarkable food producers and their products that we enjoy right here in South Australia – rather than my own specific adventures with food.  However, when I heard about the Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop I was immediately tempted.  I’ve got quite a sweet tooth and love a good pavlova, but in a (largely unsuccessful) attempt to restrain my waist I only ever make them at Christmas time.  It didn’t take the Greedy Girl in me too long to work out that this is the perfect excuse for an extra-curricular pavlova binge – so here we are!

Pavlova is a much loved dessert here in this end of the world, but also a much disputed one. For many years there has been a “discussion” between New Zealand and Australia over who invented the dish, with the last round of research coming down firmly on the side of New Zealand.  Regardless of  it’s origins, Pavlova is a fabulously sugary, creamy indulgence and one that is pretty difficult to muck up.  Some prefer their pav’s crispy on the outside and very soft and marshmallowy on the inside, some like them slightly chewy on the inside (my hand is up for this one) and some prefer them quite dry.  Any way they turn out, they are still exceptional and if the worst happens and it all falls apart  you can mix it up with fresh berries and whipped cream, serve it in a pretty dish and call it Eton Mess – how versatile is that?

There are just a couple of rules to remember for this sweet treat to be well within your grasp. You will need a reliable oven. If yours is a little dodgy I’d suggest getting an oven thermometer to ensure you know just what the oven temperature actually is.  One of the biggest enemies of a stiff, stable meringue foam is fat, so make sure that your bowl and beaters are very clean and very dry and be scrupulous when separating your eggs. It is best to separate the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, placing each white into the mixing bowl as you separate.  This way if you accidently break the yolk you will have only spoiled one white – not the whole lot. And finally, cook it slow and low and let it cool in the oven – either for a couple of hours or all night, whichever suits.

My pav for this Blog Hop is a Black Forest Pavlova.  Once again, I realise I’m being utterly predictable in my use of chocolate, but I am powerless in the face of its charms.  It is cherry season now in Australia and here in the Adelaide Hills I’m surrounded by the very best of them.  I’ve used Kirsch in the cherry syrup, but if you don’t have any a good vinicotto would give it some extra depth.  I’ve also put the chocolate in or on everywhere. Just because I can.

Black Forest Pavlova


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 good pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 dessert spoon of vinicotto
  • 1/4 cup good quality cocoa
  • 500gms fresh cherries
  • 1 cup water
  • 50 mls Kirsch liqueur
  • 500 mls cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50 gms chocolate, grated finely


  1. Preheat oven to 150C. Mark out 23 cm circle on baking paper and place on baking tray.
  2. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on high just until soft peaks form.
  3. Add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon full at a time, beating in between additions until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy, stiff peaks.
  4. Add cocoa and vinicotto, folding in with a spoon.
  5. Pile mixture onto circle in baking paper and smooth sides, making centre slightly lower than sides.
  6. Bake in oven for 40 -50 minutes, until firm and slightly cracked, but not browned.
  7. Turn oven off, crack oven door with a pot holder or wooden spoon and leave to cool for 1-3 hrs or overnight.
  8. Rinse cherries, place in pan with water and sugar.
  9. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove cherries and set aside, add Kirsch (or vinicotto), bring back to boil and reduce until syrup thickens.
  11. Beat cream and caster sugar together until thickened, stir in 3/4 of grated chocolate.
  12. When Pavlova is cooled, pile whipped cream and chocolate in centre, top with cherries, drizzle with syrup and then sprinkle with grated chocolate.
  13. Enjoy!


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Lizzy (Good Things) November 27, 2011 at 3:32 am

Hi! How absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t ever made a chocolate pavlova, or Black Forest pavlova. It looks and sounds delicious and I’m printing the recipe so I can try it.

Christina @ The Hungry Australian November 27, 2011 at 7:24 am

Beautiful looking pav, Amanda. The pale chocolate colour looks so elegant, and is perfectly set off by the dark cherry topping. Delicious!

Jennifer (Delicieux) November 27, 2011 at 8:00 am

I love your take on a black forest pavlova. It looks so delicious! Aren’t cherries just beautiful at the moment.

Barbara November 27, 2011 at 8:00 am

Nice riff on the original pav Amanda. I love a soft centre although I often end up with a chewy centre.

Grant Nowell November 27, 2011 at 8:12 am

Gotta be the best Pav yarn ever! I ‘m your crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle sort of Pav lover

Nic@diningwithastud November 27, 2011 at 8:21 am

Great job! It looks so delicious!! :)

Celia November 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

Black forest pav! What a great idea! It looks fantastic, Amanda! :)

Michelle November 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

I can see why you ate it for breakfast, but it has fruit and dairy – perfect breakfast fare! ;-)

marcellina November 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

This pavlova is wonderful! Chocolate and cherries!!! I always make the same pav – strawberries, kiwi fruit and passionfruit. Now I have another version to try!

Lau@Corridor Kitchen November 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

I love the colours of your pav, it looks just gorgeous.

ChopinandMysaucepan November 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

Dear Amanda

You pavlova looks beautiful and I would never have thought of a Black Forrest! Well done!

penny aka jeroxie November 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I so want to make this. Christmas maybe? So easy and yummy.

Kate November 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I see this as a pavlova pub crawl – best for me to keep a low profile here to avoid a waistline explosion of the worst variety seen !! I am with you in spirit though.

InTolerant Chef November 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Oooh, blackforest! Fresh cherries are spectacular at the moment, aren’t they? Yumm…

Cakelaw November 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Mmmm, black forest pav sounds devine! My oven is dodgy, so meringue making is difficult in it.

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book November 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Delightfully decadent Amanda.
:-) Mandy

Moya November 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

Which Pavlova to choose…so many and all look fabulous! :)

Melanie @ Melanie Cooks November 28, 2011 at 4:31 am

This pavlova looks gorgeous! What a breakfast :)

Lee November 28, 2011 at 9:08 am

Perfect festive fare Amanda! All the kids in our house left home knowing how to make a pav, a chocolate cake and choc pudding – offer one of those and someone else will always offer to do the rest of the menu! My Mum’s trick was to use a shallow round tin, upside down, covered in a circle of baking paper and swirl the meringue on top of that. Result: perfect ‘basin’ for filling with cream and other goodies – and helps with even cooking too!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

hehe there’s nothing wrong with eating pavlova for breakfast is there? Not when it looks like this! :D

Hotly Spiced November 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

That is a fabulous looking pavlova and I love the combination of chocolate and cherries. But I disagree with one thing…I know plenty of people who are great at stuffing up a pav and most of them lament the fact they ‘can’t get it right’. I think cooking the perfect pavlova definitely takes some skill and practise.

Anna @The Littlest Anchovy November 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Looks so lovely! I love the deep cracks that show the rich marshmallow inside….yum!

Katherine Martinelli November 29, 2011 at 6:32 am

Gorgeous Pavlova! Those cherries are just stunning. I’ll have to give this version a go next time!

Melissa Darr November 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Oh what a yummy pavlova! Great Job!

Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg November 29, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I never thought you could make a black forest one! Nice idea:)
I have made one once, for some Chinese students who invited me to a birthday party. They really enjoyed it:)

The Food Sage November 29, 2011 at 10:50 pm

This looks like my kind of pavlova! Love your Eton Mess solution, too.

kathryn elliott November 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Bloomin’ henry this looks beautiful. What a lovely idea to make a black forest pav. I remember my mum once made a raspberry and chocolate pavlova and it was incredible. December 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

Your pav looks fabulous. Cherries and chocolate oh so perfect for summer

angela@spinachtiger December 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

A black forest pavlova is sensational. I’ll eat anytime of day.

Joshua @BeePollenHub December 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

This blacky dessert is on the todo list now!

Radhika January 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

Hi Amanda,
Just found your blog and am enjoying reading through it!
Love pavlovas too, but its too humid in Singapore for me to make them.

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