CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY
I know, I know…. Pavlova is traditonally a summer dessert. What can I say? I'm dreaming of summer, if you haven’t already picked up on that. Hoping one day soon I will wake up and it just will be here--- a bit like Christmas morning when you are 6 yrs old (…..or even 36 years old?). If I can't will it to happen, I guess the next best thing is to bring a bit of summery goodness into the kitchen- and into my belly.
This recipe is for the most amazing, decadent chocolate pavlova you will ever come across. It's adapted from Nigella’s recipe- so no surprises that it’s a goodin’. In our household we (always) add extra chocolate & vanilla in desserts where possible. And I'm pleased to say, it's definitely possible in this recipe.
If you are someone who loves dark chocolate, meringue, fruit or cream- (I think I have covered most demographics there)- you'll love this. I'll put money on it that you love it even if you don’t have a sweet tooth- the tart raspberries and unsweetened cream balance the sweet, rich dark chocolate perfectly.
It’s the ideal dessert for dinner parties or to bring along to bbqs- as it can be made in advance- or even just for no reason at all. Ours falls firmly into the category of "for no reason at all"- the best kind in my opinion - as I’m sure you can't go to a dinner party or bbq in a bathrobe, no makeup and eat 3 slices in a row- could you? (NOT THAT I AM DOING THAT).
CHOCOLATE MERINGUE BASE
- 6 large egg whites
- 300 grams caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sieved)
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 50 grams good quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)- we use 100 grams.
- 500 ml double cream (we add half a teaspoon of PURE vanilla extract)
- 500 grams raspberries (roughly a punnet)
- 3 tablespoons dark chocolate (coarsely grated)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound on to a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300ºF and cook for about one to one and a quarter hours. When it's ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top, but when you prod the centre you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely.
- When you're ready to serve, invert on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don't want the raspberries' luscious colour and form to be obscured, and sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate's rim.