Black Forest Pavlova

What any heavy dinner party menu needs is a light, delicate but nevertheless sweet dessert to finish off. And this slight manipulation of a classic fits the bill…

Black Forest Gateau was often a staple dessert on many a posh buffet table when I was growing up and indeed when I was working in the catering business. Since doing these annual dinner parties, it had often been my ambition to manipulate the classic cake into a trifle, but always found the rest of the menu lacked the occasion for it. And then it struck me – a Black Forest Pavlova would work just as well, if not better! My guests certainly seemed to like them, anyway.

By the way, I’d recommend buying meringue nests rather than making your own (unless you’re confident, of course). It saves time and stress.


  • 1 jar Black Cherries in syrup – preferably as the syrup needs to be retained for the cream. If you cannot get jarred cherries, then fresh ones will do but you will have to stone them yourself.
  • Dark Rum (optional, should you wish to soak your cherries)
  • 400ml Double Cream
  • 10 Meringue nests
  • Dark Chocolate, grated for dusting

Serves 10

Soaking Time: 8 hours/overnight

Preparation Time: 20 minutes


  1. If you wish to give your pavlovas an alcoholic kick, drain the cherries of the syrup – ensure you retain the syrup – and soak for 8 hours or overnight in a little dark rum. If not, just drain the cherries and retain the syrup.
  2. Pour the cream into a measuring jug and whisk with a fork until it starts to thicken.
  3. Pour in the cherry syrup and continue whisking until all mixed in and the cream has thickened.
  4. With two spoons, spoon a little of the cherry cream into each meringue nest.
  5. Jewel each meringue with four of the cherries.
  6. Dust with a little dark chocolate and serve.