Dark Chocolate Mousse and Cinnamon Meringue Pavlova Tarts

Cinnamon meringue is piped into a tart-shaped pavlova shell, baked and filled with a dark chocolate mousse and then topped with cinnamon whipped cream. An elegant Valentine’s Day dessert or special treat.
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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’m not planning anything.

My husband and I have been together for nine years. We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, and made up more times than I care to remember. We have held hands, worried and stood silently in hospitals together. Dreams have been shattered and rebuilt, piece by piece, but always together, holding hands in the midst of it. Life is funny the way it pushes and pulls you, changes you into something different than you may have once been, covering up old scars and ripping scabs off new ones.

And some things will forever stay the same. Tomorrow there will be no physical gift exchange. Cut flowers will remain on the shelves and aisle end caps for someone else. Candlelit dinners in overcrowded restaurants will be crowded by bodies other than ours. Diamonds will not be given, for I wear only a single band to symbolize who I’m connected to, one that matches his.

Rather than flowers that wilt, crowded restaurants, or diamonds on credit cards, I’ll be grateful for the things I have: A husband who scrubs the floor more often than I, who tirelessly washes laundry so I may work, and who loves unconditionally.

Tomorrow, I’ll hold that man’s hand, and all will be well.

The next morning, though, I may just see if I can find some clearance Scharffen Berger chocolate to make these again, and I may even share with the neighbors as I did yesterday. I don’t think they mind.

These tarts are adapted from a dessert my aunt shared for Christmas a few years ago. I instantly imagined them as a Valentine’s Day dessert, and then it took me a while to share. I apologize, but cinnamon meringue just doesn’t last long around here. It’s gone in a flash, with kids and adults licking their fingers to pick up the tiny broken bits on the counter.

May every day be Valentine’s Day with the ones you love.

4 eggs, separated
1 cup superfine (caster) sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14 ounces high quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup water
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon extract (can substitute ground cinnamon)

Make the meringue shells: Preheat oven to 275º F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment. (You can trace two 8″ circles or six 4″ hearts on the opposite side of the parchment as a guide, if desired.)

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or using hand a hand mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Start adding the superfine sugar one tablespoon at a time until all is incorporated and the egg whites form stiff, shiny peaks and the sugar is completely dissolved. Fold in the apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Using a spatula or a pastry bag spread the meringue into a 1/2″ thick layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet to form two 8″ circles or six 4″ hearts with just the edges mounded to 1″ thick.

Bake the meringue for one hour. Meringue should be crisp and dry on the edges. Turn off the oven allow the meringue to cool completely in the closed oven for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Once the meringue shells have cooled and are ready to fill, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of the chocolate over the bottoms of the meringue shells. Set the remaining melted chocolate aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, lightly beat together the four remaining egg yolks with the water. When the chocolate has cooled to body temperature, Slowly pour in the egg yolks and water while whisking. Continue to whisk until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon extract until stiff peaks form. Fill a pastry bag with half of the cinnamon whipped cream. Add the other half to the chocolate mixture and fold to incorporate. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the meringue shells, filling just to the top. Refrigerate until chocolate mousse is set, approximately 1 hour. Top with remaining cinnamon whipped cream and serve.

Makes two 8″ meringue tarts.
Copyright © Food for My Family.


  1. Yum! These look so delicious

  2. What a beautiful sentiment you’ve written about your relationship. It’s one that I’m glad I can say I share with my husband. Also, love the idea of a cinnamon meringue shell. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

  3. Shaina these are stunning and sound SOOO delicious!

    I have to say, I’m one of the lucky ones who had a lot of “Valentine’s” days all year long!

  4. These will make a lovely dessert for tomorrow. Thank-you, I’ve been looking all over for something simple, something that says I love you (my husband loves pav!), and something lighter then strawberry or cherry cheesecake. =)

  5. Lovely desserts, Shaina!

  6. You’re right when you’ve been through so much with one person flowers and cards cannot begin to express how you feel for each other.

  7. This dessert looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my blog hop for a chance to win a cookbook prize package: http://bit.ly/wJSl1h

  8. Deborah Jennings says:

    I don’t have anything “Special” planned either. My DH and I have been together 22 years and have always done the same as you and your DH. =) Isn’t it great to know that we have someone in our lives that love us unconditionally? It is to me.

  9. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day either, but instead strive to show our love to one another every day of the year. These are so light and beautiful; definitely something I want to make for a special dessert or date night!

  10. What a combination of flavors and textures! I’ve been going egg white crazy lately but I think I still have room for another pavlova or two in me.

  11. You are right! Who cares for all those materialistic things when you have a soul mate beside you every day. And what better way to celebrate than some chocolate!

  12. I love how you phrased this story. So true for many of us. I’m married almost 28 years to a man that was my best friend for 11 years. Which means we’ve known each other for almost 39 years. That’s more than 1/2 my life. Yes we all have our ups and downs but we’re all the better for it. Anyone can walk away when the chips are down. Although there are days I want to scream and kick him out and he the same of me, I love him more today than the day I married him. Lifes journey does take you in places you never imagined. I’m happy I’ve made that journey with my hubby. I think he feels the same.

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

  13. Sweet post, and similar to how Danny and I celebrate – daily.

    Thanks for the reminder that I have two egg whites in the fridge. Danny just might get a dessert after all. =)

  14. Love how everyone seems to be embracing the non-tangible spirit of Valentine’s Day this year – we might live in frugal times, but we can be generous with our love, right?

  15. You have a beautiful blog. I love the way you love.

    So much so, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog award. It’s posted on my blog for all to see 🙂

    Happy V-Day loves, to you and yours.

  16. Beautiful Shaina. Everything… the pictures… the recipe.. the words. You are so talented! Happy Valentines Day! 🙂

  17. We share the same sentiment, that love is in the daily stuff, the hard moments of silence when a hand may be the only tether keeping you next to one another, through the laughs that feel like they’ll tear your chest in two. Mike and I have been together nearly 11 years, and we’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day. But he shows me every single day of the year why we don’t have to, and I’ll take that over flowers and candy any day.

  18. i am loving these!!

  19. Even though Valentines is over, I think I can still make use of this recipe. I provided some gifts for my love ones. This recipe will be a good Valentines gift for me. Thank you for sharing. I will enjoy this so much.

  20. These are gorgeous, Shaina. And such a creative dessert I love the mousse against the meringue for a contrasting texture and cinnamon and chocolate are always such a great pairing.

  21. That is such an amazingly sweet sentiment, and I like it so much more than having one day a year to celebrate love!!

  22. I made these tonight for Valentines Day. My husband and kids loved them. I made the 4 hearts and they turned out as pretty as your picture and were delicious. Thanks.

  23. Soooooooo pretty, Shaina!

  24. Such a beautiful post, and a wonderful dessert. Valentine’s Day has never been big for us either, and that’s why I baked too. Love to you, my Shaina!

  25. We ate that whole ridiculously delicious tart…yes, the one on the plate in the picture. We at the whole blasted thing!!!! Just Mike and I. By ourselves. With no help. So much for my new years resolution!!!! Have I ever mentioned that I have the worlds coolest neighbor? I do. Fact.

  26. Looks wonderfully light and delicious! Lovely photos!

  27. These Tarts look amazing…I Love this! We just posted our 2nd Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party today and would love for you to share this! http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com/2012/02/kitchen-fun-and-crafty-friday-link_16.html

  28. love pavlova! and these pavlova tarts are so pretty, much nicer than anything i`ve ever thought of making. i`ll grab a fork if you share some. lovely, Shaina!

  29. Jordan Cole says:

    Aww……that was so cute. I loved seeing the tart you prepared. How did your husband like them?

    It is great that you shared the recipe.



  30. Mousse and meringue? YES PLEASE.

  31. Looks perfect! I love pavlova, and this combination is divine!

  32. You’ve finally given me the courage to try a pavlova. I’ve seen them made many time on British cooking shows, but they seemed a little daunting to me. Your’s look wonderful, and the chocolate mousse with cinnamon sounds like a great combination. Thanks for sharing!

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    I need an expert in this space to unravel my problem.
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