Brown sugar and raw cocao pavlova

This was a pretty hard choice to make as we have so many wonderfully indulgent chocolate recipes. In the end, we went for this one – our brown sugar and raw cacao pavlova which almost sounds healthy! Although it has a deep chocolatey flavor from the cacao it is also light and the brown sugar makes it delightfully chewy, almost toffee like. We have chosen to use coconut yoghurt for the wonderful flavor, but feel free to simply whip up some cream. It is all about the crunch – having roasted mixed nuts but also we love making a brittle. Its very easy you just melt sugar in a pan till all has turned to caramel, mix in nuts and very quickly pour out onto greaseproof paper and let to set, then break up and scatter over the pavlova. The best thing about this recipe is that its really easy but it looks like a masterpiece – certainly has the wow factor if you have any kids around this Easter their eyes will be out on stalks!! Half of this recipe is in the making of the pavlova, but the other half is in the decoration, we would say go all out!! And its the best part – use berries, edible flowers and as many Easter eggs as you can get your little paws on. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate that you can consume, which means it is raw and much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars. It does not have all the excess sugars and fats of processed chocolate and actually is very high in antioxidants and magnesium. It was has been used for generations in different cultures for health purposes. It is pretty easy to get hold of these days, most health food shops and large supermarkets will stock it. This is a good recipe to keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be used just for Easter, if you strip away the eggs and add a mound of strawberries and mint you have a wonderful summer pudding, and hey presto you have a pretty magnificent birthday cake. We did it recently on a job, portraits being shot for Vogue – and we made a huge one, I was seriously looking forward to trying a sneaky piece, but when I went out after lunch it was all been finished, every last crumb!


    12 free range eggs

    600g soft brown sugar

    pinch fine sea salt

    85g raw cacao powder


    150g pecans lightly roasted

    150g hazelnuts lightly roasted


    350g mascarpone

    500g natural yoghurt

    1tsp vanilla extract

    (100g raw cacao powder – to use if you want chocolate cream, if not then don’t use)


1. Heat the oven to 140c and line 3 baking trays with baking parchment 2. Crack the eggs and split the white from the yolks into two separate bowls, a large for the whites and a small for the yolks (make sure the one for the egg whites is clean, wipe with white wine vinegar to make sure). Save the yolks for another dish or discard. 3. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk using an electric whisk till soft peaks then very slowly (about a spoon at a time) add the sugar until it is all blended and you have a silky and stiff mixture 4. Add the cacao and mix well. Divide the mixture between the three baking trays then carefully spread the mixture to make a large circle, try to keep as even as possible. The meringue should be about an inch thick at least 5. Bake in the oven for about an hour – 1 ½ hours until crisp on the outside but chewy in the middle. Turn off oven and leave to cool inside the oven. 6. Mix all the filling ingredients together. Once the meringue is cool then carefully take off the baking parchment and place on a large serving platter. Spread 1/3 of the mixture onto the meringue then repeat for the next two layers. 7. Roughly chop the nuts and sprinkle over the pavlova and then decorate with mini eggs and edible flowers