|Chocolate Raspberry/Strawberry Pavlova|
I get the Food Network Magazine - honestly, it was such a great Christmas 2009 present from Kris & Tony that I asked for a renewal for for Christmas 2010! I try to test the recipes, and I take inspiration from others that look appealing but would never fly at one of our family dinners! (I have a few picky eaters to battle, and Mom has a dairy issue - sometimes it is a challenge!) The magazine had a very detailed feature of Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova - which was not only fairly easy to make, but was also a hit at our house! I used strawberries rather than raspberries when I made it - (strawberries go over better with the diners I was catering to, and they are also cheaper! Especially if you want to whip out this fancy dessert during strawberry season!)
Stuff you will need
- An oven
- A baking sheet
- Some parchment paper
- A pencil
- A 9-inch round cake pan
- A mixer - you can use a hand mixer if you have a pretty powerful one
- A microplane - you are going to grate chocolate, and you want it to curl, a veggie peeler will make bigger curls if you don't have a microplane or if your grater isn't doing a great job
- A rubber spatula
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 cups of superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 4 ounces total dark chocolate: 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (ok this FINELY chopped bit isn't a joke, really fine, like grated - splurge on one of those fancy bars that is really thin, because it will be much easier to chop) this will go in the pavlova - PLUS 2 ounces for curling on top - so, yeah, total of 4 ounces
- 2 cups heavy cream (this is totally healthy!)
- 4 cups of raspberries (or strawberries)
Okay, so now that you have all of your supplies together...... how about some directions!
Let's do this!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line the baking sheet with some parchment paper.
- Using your pencil and that random cake pan, trace a circle on the parchment. (you can press down!)
- Flip the paper over so you don't get pencil contamination! (you should be able to see the pencil mark)
- Make some meringue!
- Beat the egg whites with that mixer until satiny peaks form
- Beat the sugar in a spoonful at a time until stiff and deliciously shiny! (depending on the climate your sugar amount may vary a bit)
- Sprinkle the cocoa, vinegar and chopped chocolate into the meringue and carefully fold in using your rubber ... spatula! SPATULA, I say! (hey, just make sure the cocoa is mixed in nicely without destroying the beautiful meringue you created!)
- Waste a little meringue - secure the parchment paper with a dab of meringue in each corner (you don't want parchment paper stuck on the side, or any other kind of sliding mishaps!) - and while you're wasting it, you should probably just have a little tiny bite!
- Make a meringue butte (yes, I said butte! It is a mesa that is round!) with that rubber spatula using the pencil circle you drew as a guideline. Make it nice and smoothish on the sides and top while you're playing around in chocolatey goodness!
- Bake it!
- Stick it in the oven.
- Immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ignore it for about 1 hour and 15 minutes - you will know it is ready when it looks crispy and dry, but the center is squingy under the crust when you poke it. (if you put a hole in it on accident it is ok, because you're going to cover it up!)
- Let it cool in the oven, just leave the door open a little bit!
- When you are ready to serve your Pavlova, flip it over (GENTLY!) onto a big, flat-bottomed serving dish of your choice - and (GENTLY) peel the parchment paper off.
- Make your own whipped cream!
- Whisk the cream until it is thick but still soft - okay, fine, I didn't tell you to have a whisk, that's because I use the mixer on lower speed because this much whisking hurts my freaking arm!
- (Did you really think this needed a 2nd step?)
- Plop that delicious whipped cream on top of the meringue Frisbee you made.
- Scatter the raspberries on top (or strawberries)
- Curl the remaining dark chocolate over the top using your microplane or veggie grater - but don't bury the fruit completely!
Okay - so, now it is time to eat this thing, since you have been drooling over it for a while! (If that isn't the reason for the thing being called Pavlova - it should be!) This is where I hit my problem! The reason I don't make this often - you really need to serve the whole thing at once. No leftovers! Leftover Pavlova is gross! So - make this when you have a lot of people to share with - or if you are having a particularly horrible day and are sure you will be capable of taking down the whole thing on your own! Enjoy it!! It is really quite delicious! And, this will be added to the phoodos section so you can access the recipe anytime it catches your eye!