Although not strictly a Pavlova, given that it’s actually a Swiss meringue (so named because of the sugar syrup), let’s not quibble over nomenclature. Suffice it to say, it’s just plain delicious. The cinnamon-cocoa powder combo is addictive and the sugar syrup method ensures a crisp exterior with a billowy, marshmallow-like interior.
- superfine sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- egg whites - 5
- vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- salt - pinch
- cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
- cinnamon - 1 tbsp
- non-dairy whip topping - 1 cup, whipped
- mixed berries or fruit - 1 1/2 cups
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trace a 9- inch circle on the paper. Turn paper over.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, start to slowly whip the egg whites until soft peaks appear.
Simultaneously, stir together the sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Boil gently, stirring only once or twice, until the mixture boils and reaches 175°F on a candy thermometer or until the bubbles start to thicken slightly and the mixture appears “sticky”. This should only take about 5 minutes.
With the machine running, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites. Whisk on high speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is very stiff and white. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and cinnamon. With a rubber spatula, fold the cocoa mixture into the egg whites, allowing some streaks to remain.
Mound the meringue mixture inside the outlined circle. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until dry and crisp on the outside. Let cool completely. (Meringue can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store in a cool, dry place).
Transfer meringue to a serving plate. Mound the whipped non-dairy topping over the top of the meringue in decorative swirls. Garnish with fresh fruit. For extra garnish, sprinkle some sifted cocoa powder on top.