Fresh fruit doesn’t have to be boring #4: Quattro frutti chocolate pavlova (gluten-free)

I never get bored of making pavlovas

Gluten-free, wheat-free, flour-free but sadly not calorie-free…unless it’s your birthday. Or it’s Christmas. Or Easter. Those days are automatically calorie-free days… 🙂

The magic of egg whites

I was introduced to Australia’s national dish as a Uni student in Melbourne in the early 1990’s but I never learnt how to make one until my mother-in-law taught me (thanks Jeannette!). It’s been my husband’s family favourite for years and years and I’m pleased to be able to carry on the tradition.

Hard to resist eating the chocolate meringue mixture before it goes in the oven

However, this recipe is a chocolate version of the usually egg-white based pavlova and I first saw one being made by Nigella Lawson. However, I noticed that she didn’t add 2 key ingredients that have always gone into my mother-in-law’s recipe and which makes her pavlova extra tasty. I’ve therefore incorporated the best of both recipes to create my own version of a chocolate pavlova.

You know that under that crisp shell is chocolatey chewiness

Yummy, yummy pears

As is often the case, my husband and I have very different opinions about what fruit works best on a pav; he likes grapes and bananas while I prefer berries but we both agree that pears and chocolate are a winning combination. So, I decided to create a multi-fruit pavlova, like a sweet version of the Italian quattro formaggi pizza, and called it my quattro frutti chocolate pavlova. We actually ended up using five types of fruit but we combined strawberries and raspberries together to form one of the four sections.

Strrawberries and raspberries next

I used a combination of cocoa powder, grated 70% chocolate and finely chopped 70% chocolate to create the chocolate pavlova, and the best thing about this is that when you bite into it, you get the crispy light meringue outer shell disintegrating in your mouth, then the chewiness of the meringue middle, followed by occasional tiny pieces of chocolate that then dissolve on your tongue… sheer bliss!

Hhmmmm, chocolatey, creamy, fruity goodness

Making a pavlova is such a stress free way of making a dessert because it’s nigh on impossible to mess up. I think it’s best made the night before so it can cool overnight in the oven. It’s a gauranteed crowd pleaser and always gets gasps of delight from everyone, kids and adults alike. There’s just something about the combination of meringue, fruit and cream that’s simply irresistible, at least to me and my family anyway!

The quattro frutti chocolate pavlova

Slice of fluffy chewy heaven

If you’d like to try making it with your own favourite fruit topping, you can get the recipe by clicking here.

Pears are my fave fruit!

Lots of love


6 Responses to “Fresh fruit doesn’t have to be boring #4: Quattro frutti chocolate pavlova (gluten-free)”
  1. This looks delicious. I have a girlfriend with Celiac disease, so I am glad to hear this receipe is gluten-free. Have to give this a go and try it out – live at 5200 feet elevation and baking scares me a bit.

    • Hi there, it’s very easy so don’t be worried about baking. Baking isn’t my forte either! One note I forgot to add is that to make this gluten free, don’t add the teaspoon of cornflour that I have in mine. That’s purely optional and wasn’t in nigella’s recipe anyway. Hope you try it!

  2. Alice & David. says:

    Hi Vanessa, although not a” foodie” by any means, I always love reading your blog – it is so enthusiastic, colourful and interesting – but today’s (being re gluten-free & full of my favourite things) takes the prize so far! I have got to have some of that!! Keep up the good work – it’s great fun reading it! Cheers from Oz, Alice.

  3. Oh wow, what an amaaaazing idea. Looks so great and the fruit tricks yo into thinking it;s incredibly healthy… but I know the secret…

  4. Joanne says:

    I LOVEEEEEEEEE pavlovas!!! I’ve never tried it with chocolate though…I must do that. I love the 4 fruits you did too!

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