This mouthwatering Black Forest Mini Pavlova With Chocolate Mousse dessert is rich and extremely delicious. Use the good quality dark chocolate for the most authentic and intense chocolate flavor. These are real luxurious sweet treats.
Serves: about 6
For the meringue:
- 1 cup superfine granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp. cold water
- 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
For the chocolate mousse:
- 1/4 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into very small pieces
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- pinch of salt
For the cherry sauce:
- 1 cup cherries
- 2 Tbsp. red wine
- 2 tsp sugar
- chocolate shavings for garnish
- whipped cream for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 300ºF and position a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
To prepare the meringue: Whisk superfine sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the water and beat until whites hold soft peaks once again.
On medium-high, beat in sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat one minute longer. Add vinegar, then beat at high speed until glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer). The meringue will be extremely thick.
Shape the meringue into the six rounds on the prepared baking tray, creating a cavity in the center of each meringue (for the filling). Place meringues into the oven. Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 40-45 minutes. Avoid opening the oven door! Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven one hour. The exterior will be dry and possibly cracked, the inside more like the consistency of marshmallow.
To make the chocolate mousse: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring, until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and continue to stir until the butter melts and is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds.
Separate one egg, placing the egg white in a large bowl and adding the yolk to the chocolate. Quickly whisk in the yolk, fully incorporating it. Repeat with the remaining two eggs. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan and let cool to lukewarm.
Add the salt to the egg whites. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form, then beat in the confectioners' sugar. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate, being careful not to deflate the whites.
To make the cherry sauce: Place the cherries, red wine and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Spoon the chocolate mousse into cooled meringues and mound cherry sauce in the center. Serve with extra whipped cream if desired and chocolate shavings.