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Frozen spiced chocolate pavlova

Dark chocolate semifreddo is topped with a cinnamon, clove and nutmeg-spiced pavlova for a show-stopping finish to a meal.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking plus cooling, freezing
  • Serves 10 - 12
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This double-layer pavlova is perfumed with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, which marry beautifully with the chocolate semifreddo sandwiched in between. It's the perfect do-ahead festive crowd-pleaser. Begin this recipe a day ahead to freeze the semifreddo.


  • 225 gm (about 6) eggwhites
  • 330 gm (1½ cups) raw caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 150 gm sour cream
  • Dutch-process cocoa, chocolate curls or shavings and hazelnut praline, to serve
Chocolate semifreddo
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 70 gm raw caster sugar
  • 50 ml brandy
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 150 gm sour cream
  • 200 gm milk chocolate, melted
  • 200 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), melted


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 150°C. Trace an 18cm-diameter circle on each of 2 pieces of baking paper. Place pencil-side down on lightly oiled oven trays. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer to soft peaks (4-5 minutes), then, with motor running, gradually add sugar and whisk until firm and glossy (2-3 minutes). Whisk in vinegar, then fold in cornflour and spices. Spread a third of the meringue within a circle, smoothing top, then pile remaining meringue in the other circle, forming peaks and swirls. Place in oven, reduce oven to 120°C, and bake until crisp but not coloured (1¼-1½ hours). Turn off heat and cool completely in oven with door closed (at least 6 hours or overnight).
  • 2
    For semifreddo, whisk yolks, sugar and brandy in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until mixture is thick, pale and holds a thick ribbon (6-7 minutes), then whisk in an electric mixer until cooled to room temperature (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk creams in a separate bowl to soft peaks. Fold chocolates into egg mixture, then fold in whipped cream.
  • 3
    Place flat meringue in a 22cm-diameter cake tin lined with baking paper. Spread semifreddo on top, smooth top, then top with larger pavlova. Freeze overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap and keep frozen. Pavlova will keep for 2 weeks.
  • 4
    Whisk creams to soft peaks, then run a hot wet knife around sides of cake tin and unmould pavlova. Transfer to a plate, pile cream on top, finish with cocoa, chocolate and praline, and serve.