In honor of the royal wedding yesterday, I thought it was only fitting that I post a recipe from one of my favorite Brits. I love Nigella Lawson and her effortless cooking style. I'd always wanted to attempt a Pavlova and this inviting recipe was the reinforcement I needed to try one. The directions look a bit long and involved but everything was really simple. It is impressive looking, light, chewy, crumbly and truly easy. In fact, if the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ever pop by for a visit, I'll be sure to make them this dessert!
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
For the Meringue Base:
6 large egg whites
2 cups superfine sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
For the Toppings:
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 over the top.
Recipe and pic from Nigella.