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Chocolate Swirl Pavlova with Maple Mascarpone and Red Wine Poached Pears

Chocolate Swirl Pavlova with Maple Mascarpone and Red Wine Poached Pears

By Kelly Gibney
Serves: 6-8

This gorgeous dessert is fantastic for celebrations and entertaining. Both the red wine pears and the pavlova can be made up to 2 days in advance so that your preparation on the day can be very simple. The pears and the maple mascarpone (without the pavlova) also make a fantastic stand alone dessert.



  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder plus more for dusting

Red wine poached pears

  • 750ml red wine (a deep red like a shiraz or syrah is good)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup Noble 01 Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Peel of 1 orange, cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 6 small pears, peeled with stalk remaining

Mascarpone and maple cream


Pavlova method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Use a stand mixer or handheld electric beaters to make the pavlova. Use a spotlessly clean bowl for this (A wipe out with white vinegar beforehand can be great). Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar slowly and keep beating until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar has all dissolved (about 10-12 minutes).
  3. Add the vinegar and the cornflour. Whisk briefly. Sift the cocoa over the top and fold and swirl gently with a spoon or spatula. Don’t over mix it; you really want a swirl effect and not one uniform colour.
  4. Line an oven proof tray. Pile the meringue into a 23cm circle. Use the back of a spoon to swirl the outside edge upwards and dust it with a little bit more cocoa.
  5. As soon as the pavlova goes in the oven, reduce the temperature to 120 degrees. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off (don’t open the door) and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for several hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days before using.

Pear method

  1. Use a pot that will fit all the liquid and the pears comfortably.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the pears into a pot. Stir gently.
  3. Add the pears. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender.
  4. Carefully remove the pears and return the liquid to a medium heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened and very reduced. Remove from the heat.
  5. Return the pears to the liquid. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

Marscapone & Maple Cream + Assembly

  1. Place the mascarpone, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and beat to soften and combine. Add the cream and beat for a few minutes until combined and thickened. Pile this on top of the pavlova.
  2. Top the cream with the poached pears just prior to serving. It looks great to cut some in half and leave some whole. Drizzle a little of the syrup over the pears. Leftover syrup can be served in a small jug on the side.
  3. I’ve used Cook & Nelson buds & blossoms florals to garnish.


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