September 2, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova


If you're not familiar with them, pavlovas are a renowned dessert from New Zealand and Australia named in honor of a celebrated Russian ballerina.  Amongst all of the numerous cakes and treats  served at PG's 70th birthday bash this summer it was the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova that was devoured first.   The combination of crispy, crunchy chocolate meringue topped with billowy whipped cream and fresh raspberries proved irresistible for the guests.   Ironically enough, the maker of said dessert (otherwise known as me) didn't have a chance to taste it for herself. 


Can you guess what I wanted to make as soon as I got home?  Yep, you got it!  With my first bite of its lusciousness I was in heaven.   Now I see what all the fuss was about.  I'll definitely be making it again!


Special tusen takk to Anne Marie for introducing me to this recipe.

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova (recipe from Nigella Lawson)

Meringue Base
6 large egg whites
2 cups superfine sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Topping
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups raspberries
1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate

Prepare the pan: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch-diameter circle on the paper with a pencil, tracing a round cake tin that size.

Flip the paper over so your meringue doesn't touch the pencil marks - you'll still be able to see the circle.

Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Add the chocolate: Sprinkle the cocoa, vinegar and then the chopped chocolate over the egg whites. Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in.

Shape the meringue: Secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a dab of meringue under each corner. Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula.

Bake the meringue: Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees F and cook for one to one and a quarter hours. When it's ready, it should look crisp and dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers.

Let it cool: Turn off the oven and open the door slightly; let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven. When you'reready to serve, invert onto a big flatbottomed plate and peel off the parchment.

Decorate the Pavlova: Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter the raspberries on top. Coarsely grate the chocolate haphazardly over the top so that you get curls of chocolate rather than rubble, as you don't want the raspberries' luscious color and form to be obscured. You want the Pavlova to look like a frosted cake.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/chocolate-raspberry-pavlova-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

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