I did it.
I made a treat called Pavlova.
Go ahead – you can say it out loud.
C’mon. Say it out loud.
Okay – if you can’t say it right now without looking like a strange-o, just politely excuse yourself to the restroom and say it to yourself.
Or, try and work it into a sentence.
And … go.
It’s fun to say.
This thing is the strangest dessert I have made yet. Deliciously strange. I have never tried such a thing, let alone attempt to make it. But, I’m a brave girl. I strapped on my boots, hiked up my skirt and got to getting my hands dirty. (That’s not true. I wasn’t wearing a skirt. I was wearing stretchy yoga pants, like any
bum, ahem, classy gal would on her day off.)
So – Pavlova. Ha! There it is again. I wan’t to shout it as a joyful exclamation. “Oh! You just got engaged? Pavlova!” (Pavlova, Sam and Adrienne! Pavlova!)
This dessert has a sweet chocolate meringue base, topped with fresh whipped cream and raspberries. It’s very simple to make but will impress the socks off of anyone. The crackly meringue gives it a rustic charm, but the taste is elegant. It’s a bit crunchy on the outside, then it’s chewy gooey on the inside.
It’s not too sweet, as the cream on top is just that – Cream. No sugar. (Also how I take most of my coffee, in case anyone was wondering.)
Want to know how to make it? Alright, alright. I’ll show you.
The victims: Superfine Sugar, Cocoa, 6 Eggs, Heavy Cream, Chopped Chocolate, Raspberries, Red Wine Vinegar.
First, you need to line a baking sheet with parchment – then trace a circle on it. Gosh, I wish I still had my math compass. That would have been a blast to make a circle with. I need to get me one of those.
I just grabbed a smallish plate (maybe 8 inches?) and used it to trace my circle.
Flip your parchment over so the batter doesn’t touch the pencil markings. You’ll still be able to see your circle through the paper. Don’t worry.
Then, you’ve got to separate your eggs and keep the whites. Keep the yolks, too, to make other things like ice cream or custard.
I don’t have a photograph of the separation, because I actually already had some whites leftover from mine and Andy’s date with our nephews, brother, and sister. We made ice cream and used all the yolks.
Once you have the yolks ready, pour them into a large bowl.
Beat with a hand-held blender until soft peaks form.
Now, grab your sugar and add it to the egg whites a spoonful at a time.
Now, take it out back and beat it up. Yea. Rough house it a little. Show it who’s boss.
I’m sorry. That was inappropriate. We don’t want to rough house anyone or anything. That wouldn’t be very kind.
But, we do want to beat the sugar into the egg whites. Just, maybe in a less aggressive way. Plus, you’ll save yourself from a huge mess if you refrain from violence. Just beat it with a blender. Eggs don’t mind that … because then they turn into Pavlova. And that makes them happy.
Beat just until stiff, shiny peaks form. If you over-beat, it will begin to separate. The true test to see if meringue is done is to hold your bowl upside down. If nothing falls out, you’re golden.
Grab your cocoa, and sift it over your meringue.
Add in your red wine vinegar.
Then, add in your chopped chocolate. I don’t have a photo of this. Probably because I’m sometimes a scatter brain.
Take a rubber spatula, and fold it all in until incorporated.
Now, dab a little of the batter under each corner of the parchment. This will help the parchment to stay put while you assemble your base.
Next, pile your batter onto the parchment, using your circle as a guide.
Pop that in the oven, reduce the heat, and let it hang out for an hour. Yep. An hour.
When it’s all done baking and cooling – you get this crazy looking thing!
While that is cooling, you can make your whipped cream.
Just pour the cream into a bowl, and whip!
At this point, I carefully put my meringue base on a cake stand. This is hard. This is so hard. Mine split and crumbled all over the place, but since it’s already crackly it didn’t offend me too much.
You should probably just leave yours put. Or, be adventurous and transfer it. But I warned you. Oh, I warned you.
Top the chocolate meringue with whipped cream.
Then, top it all off with fresh raspberries and shaved chocolate.
You are outstanding. Look at that! The people will love you.
My friends? Enjoy!
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
(From Nigella Lawson)
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 fresh raspberries
1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate, shaved or chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a circle on the paper with a pencil, tracing a plate about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. Flip the paper over so your meringue doesn’t touch the pencil marks – you’ll still be able to see the circle.
Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form, then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
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.
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 top with a spatula.
Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for one hour. 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.
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.
Make your whipped topping: Beat the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue. 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.