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10 February 2017 6 comments


I always like to make a sweet treat for Valentine's Day. Meringue is definitely one of my weaknesses - and I finally feel like I've got the recipe down. I don't usually have problems with picking off little morsels of food whilst I'm shooting posts for my blog but when meringue or pavlova enters the fray, it's an entirely different story - especially when there happened to be a few too many cherries today, steeping patiently in their deliciously sticky juices.. Now look at me, I'm positively gurgling because of it all. Let's just jump into the recipe!


A  L I T T L E   M E R I N G U E   N E V E R   D I D   A N Y O N E   A N Y   H A R M

Whilst the core of English summer desser-try (yep I'm feeling that as a new noun!) no doubt includes copious amounts of strawberries and cream, I love mixing up my pavlovas and introducing new flavours, it's such a wonderful vehicle for adding different fruits and accompaniments.





Today's is the irresistible blend of juicy, fat cherries with vanilla and mascarpone, and it's positively divine - I lie not. With crisp, chewy meringue, fervent heapings of mascarpone cream and a generous tumble of fruit, it's actually what I'm going to be whipping up for this Valentine's - the perfect dessert for the occasion don't you think? You could by all means make individual pavlovas (or pavlovinies?) but I like the idea of breaking into one fat, fluffy cake, carving out a greedy slice, and of course when all the layers relax and sink into each other and meld beautifully.

And if your beau happens to detest cherries, why not try my Persian Love Cake, or perhaps my Red Velvet Cake Truffles this Valentines? 





- 3 egg whites (I reserved my yolks for creme brulee - another recipe I might share in the near future?)
- 190g caster sugar (you can use golden caster sugar here for a slightly caramel taste to the meringue, although be mindful this turns it a rather subtle shade of golden beige)
- 1 tsp cornflour 

- A 250g tub of mascarpone cheese
- 150ml double cream
- A dash of vanilla extract

- 400g or 2 punnets black cherries (you can use frozen for the same flavour but they won't keep their integrity so well)
- 200ml water
- 200g sugar
- A squeeze of lemon


1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.

2. Break 3 egg whites into a freestanding mixer/KitchenAid or large mixing bowl. Make sure your bowl is absolutely spotless, as any speck of oil or grease will stop your meringue's rising properly. I like to rub half a lemon round and wipe out with kitchen paper just to be sure. 

3. Whisk up the whites until they form soft, satiny peaks, before spooning in the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing briskly until the sugar is entirely incorporated and your meringue is smooth and glossy - you should have stiff peaks and be able to invert the bowl without any movement. Fold in the cornflour for the chew-factor with a metal spoon so as not to knock out any air. 

4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon out your meringue mixture into two proud heaps before smoothing down into rounds about 15cm across and an inch or so high.

5. Pop into the middle of an oven and immediately turn your oven down from 180 to 100 degrees celcius. Ideally meringues dry out, so much as cook, in the oven, and therefore need a long and slow bake - the initial heat will seal the shape of your meringue and any texture you've managed to create. These need to stay in for around 2.5 hours, but give them a check each hour to check their progress and ensure your oven isn't too hot (an oven themometer helps). 

6. To further aid 'the chew', once cooked, switch off your oven and leave to cool inside, with the door open. 

7. For the cherries, I'm afraid the majority, bar a few for decoration, need destoning but a tool like this helps a great deal. Make a stock syrup with the sugar and water and add 2/3 of the cherries. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes or until the cherries are soft, but their shape and texture intact, add a squeeze of lemon then leave to cool completely. (To test the syrup, pour a spoonful onto a cold plate and drag your finger through once cooled as in the snap above. If the syrup immediately spreads to fill the line, give it another 5 minutes and repeat). 

8. For the cream, soften the mascarpone with the back of a spoon and whisk the double cream to a soft, silky ribbon stage. Fold the mascarpone and vanilla into the cream until smooth.

9. Mound up some of the cream onto one meringue, top with half the cherries before repeating - meringue, cream, cherries. Finish the top with the fresh cherries you reserved, and if you like, some slivers of almond. And don't be afraid should your syrup escape down the cracks and crevices of the meringue and pool into sticky, burgundy lagoons - it's all in the pleasure of this fine dessert.




Rich, sticky and fruity, I can already tell you it won't take us long to polish off every last, syrupy cherry!

Barely There Beauty Blog Cherry Mascarpone Pavlova Recipe

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