Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam | The Vanilla Bean Blog

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocao Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam

Sara Forte’s new cookbook, Bowl + Spoon, is beautiful, with recipes focused on simple, healthy ingredients served in the perfect vessel. I found her pavlovas to be a fantastic riff on the bowl: a delicious, edible bowl. Also, meringues with cacao nibs! Totally genius. (Also, thanks to the amazing Zoe Francois for making these pavlovas with me!)

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam
adapted from Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte

I’ve changed things just a bit from Sara’s recipe. Sara makes a French meringue (egg whites aren’t heated first, and the larger sugar crystals leave a little crunch) with mostly natural cane sugar, and I’ve made these a Swiss meringue with mostly white sugar (egg whites are gently heated, resulting in a more delicate texture). Either way will make for a delicious dessert. Sara also serves her pavlovas with mixed berries, but here in Minneapolis our berries aren’t quite in season, so jam was a great substitute.

4 egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
good pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cacoa nibs

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Put the bowl over a double boiler and stir with a rubber spatula until the sugar is completely melted (this will take several minutes). Brush the sides down with the spatula occasionally to make sure all the sugar is melted and no grains are clinging to the sides. Feel the egg mixture between your fingers to check for graininess. Once the mixture is completely smooth (you can check by putting it between your fingers and checking for graininess), put it on your stand mixer and beat with the whip attachment on medium high speed. Beat it until it is light, fluffy, glossy, and the bowl feels just about room temperature. Add the vanilla and cacao nibs, and beat until they are combined.

On the parchment lined sheets, divide the mixture into 8 meringue pillows (or 12 smaller portions). Use the back of a spoon to create a generous well in the middle of each meringue (you want the edges higher than the center). Bake the meringues for an 1 and 1/2 hours (if you are baking smaller meringues, bake them for less time – one hour). Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling. (You can make the meringues up to 2 days in advance. Keep them in an airtight container until ready to fill.)


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 – 1/2 cup jam (any flavor will do; I used Wild Blueberry)

Whip the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently stir in the jam, making large streaks in the whipped cream. Scoop the whipped cream into the wells of the meringue, and serve. (A sprinkle of Tara’s candied cacao nibs on top wouldn’t hurt, either.)

Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Jam


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30 Responses to cacoa nib pavlovas with berry jam

  1. Tieghan says:

    These are so pretty! 🙂

  2. Penelope Hunt says:

    You haven’t explained when to add the 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs.

  3. sara forte says:

    I’m going to make them your way tomorrow. We’ve had a hankering for a lighter treat over here and couldn’t think of what. This is it! Anxious to try Tara’s nibs too if I can rustle any up in the pantry. Gorgeous photos by the way. Thanks for the compliment xo

  4. These photos are amazing! I just want to eat hundreds of these mini pavlovas right now… 😉

  5. Kate says:

    I’ve had my eye on those cocoa nib meringues – love the idea of bitter little chocolaty nubs of crunch. The swirl of jam is just gorgeous, although now that strawberries are arriving in the shops here I’m pretty tempted by those.

  6. These look absolutely beautiful.

  7. These look so tasty. Totally crushing on the cocoa nibs in there!

  8. Pavlovas are an underrated treat. I’ve been meaning to dust off an old recipe, but I may be giving this one a try instead!

  9. cynthia says:

    Oh, these photos are so incredibly dreamy, Sarah! Just so, so lovely. And these meringues are perfection (those jam swirls!) So gorgeous.

  10. Beautiful! Sara’s book has quickly become one of my new favorites. It’s a real classic.

  11. So stunning! And isn’t the book amazing? So inspiring.

  12. Jordan says:

    Oooh, this looks beautiful! I definitely need to try this out – it looks delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. You are the queen of the cocoa nib! I’ve yet to make my own meringues, these look like little pillows of heaven.

  14. Abby says:

    These photographs are utterly stunning, Sarah. You have such a gift for capturing lovely moments. <3

  15. Kelly says:

    Beautiful photos! I can’t wait to try them.

  16. Eliza says:

    That quotation, those cacao nibs, and this recipe are all wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  17. The swirls of jam! The cacao nibs! SO gorgeous.

  18. These look delicious, a great Mother’s day dessert!

    I love your photography too, it’s beautiful

  19. Sophia says:

    These meringues look so dreamy and the addition of cacao nibs is so good – I have done this before as well and that bitterness contrasts so well against the sweet meringue. Cannot wait to get my hands on Sara’s book as well – it looks outstanding (and I loved her first book).

  20. danae garcia says:

    these looks so yummy!! thanks for sharing!! xxx

    NEW BLOG POST!! Today we are back with a RECIPE “REINVENTED CAPRESE SALAD” – Check out all the steps to make this healthy, light and delicious salad for summer!! Don’t miss it!!

  21. Kasey says:

    Gorgeous merengues, Sarah! I’m excited to try both your version and Sara’s.x

  22. […] some unknown reason I’ve never made pavlovas but this recipe for Cacoa Nib Pavlovas with Berry Jam has put them near the top of my to-do […]

  23. […] Show up on her front doorstep with these light-as-air cacoa nib pavlovas with berry jam. (The Vanilla Bean Blog.) […]

  24. Chaya says:

    munching on tara’s cacao nibs right now (on an oatmeal, greek yogurt, maple and berry bowl!) and I think they would be so perfect on a pavlova. can’t wait to try this!

  25. Wow! These look too good to eat! I hope when I attempt this recipe mine look as delicious as yours!

  26. serwis says:

    This photos are beautiful, I really like them 🙂 And also the recipe is delicious.

  27. […] Beautiful stuff, as always, from the Vanilla Bean blog – love this post and recipe for cacao nib merigues with berry jam […]

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