Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And a chocolate raspberry pavlova for dessert

I completely forgot to mention what we did with all those lovely berries!

Not mine! (I forgot to take a photo, but this looks just like it.) From tdijkman's photostream on Flickr.

I decided to use them in a Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova to help celebrate a friend's birthday on Monday. It's also J's favorite dessert, so he was happy with this decision!

It's a really easy recipe from Nigella, but it takes a while to bake and cool so there is a little forethought that must happen if you're interested in trying this one out. Believe me, the delayed gratification is so worth it -- this recipe is really a stunner in both looks and taste.

Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova (slightly adapted from Forever Summer)

6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
3 Tbs. best quality cocoa powder, sieved
1 tsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar (I've used both with success)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups raspberries
2-3 Tbs. coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking tray with wax paper.

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, vinegar, and chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the coca is thoroughly mixed in.

Mound on to a baking tray in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 and cook for about one to one quarter hour. 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 center you should feel the promise of squidginess. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the meringue 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 and the chocolate shavings.

Serves 8-10 (but I've stretched it to 16 in a pinch).

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