Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff, add half of the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture turns glossy. Add the remaining sugar and lemon juice, continue to beat until the mixture becomes very stiff. Mix 50 g of this mixture with the cocoa powder until smooth, fold into the remaining mixture using a rubber spatula to create a ripple effect. Spread the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper (approx. 20 cm in diameter), pull the edges upwards slightly with a spatula.
Bake for approx. 20 mins. in the lower half of an oven preheated to 150°C. Reduce the heat to 120 °C and allow the pavlova to dry out for approx. 1½ hrs. Then switch the oven off and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven with the door open.
Caramelized pear slices
Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the pear slices, sauté for approx. 2 mins. Add the maple syrup and water, reduce the heat, cover and caramelize the pear slices over a low heat for approx. 10 mins.
To top the pavlova
Beat the cream until stiff and spread on top of the pavlova. Arrange the pear slices on top, decorate with chocolate and nuts.