Chocolate Pavlova: This Nigella Lawson recipe for Chocolate pavlova has to be one of my all time favourites & is often requested by my girlfriends if they are coming for dinner, it's truly is divine! Although I advise you to make a few small meringues out of the mixture so you can nibble on them as the smell is intoxicating when baked & it's SO hard not to eat...Chocolate meringue base 6 large egg whites 300 grams caster sugar 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sieved) 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar) 50 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)
The topping 500 ml double cream 500 grams raspberries or strawberries 3 tablespoons dark chocolate, coarsely grated (I use dairy free) Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF & line a baking tray with baking parchment Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form & then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff & shiny Sprinkle over the cocoa & vinegar, & the chopped chocolate Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in Mound on to a baking sheet on top of parchment paper in a fat circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides & top (I use a plate to stencil the circle on the underside of parchment paper) Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300ºF & cook for about one to one & a quarter hours When it's ready it should look crisp around the edges & on the sides & be dry on top, but when you prod the centre you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers Turn off the oven & open the door slightly, & let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely
When you're ready to serve, invert on to a big, flat-bottomed plate Whisk the cream till thick but still soft & pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the berries Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don't want the berries' luscious colour & form to be obscured, & sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate's rim.
Tip: If your strawberries are out of season prepare them in advance by sprinkling with a teaspoon of sugar & cover in cling film. When you go to use them your strawberries will be juicy & delicious
For the dairy free option I make a few small mini meringues (borrowed from the recipe amount) which I pop on the shelf under the large one & have them just with room temperature berries, no cream & I slightly reduce the cooking time by circa 15 minutes. Enjoy! Michelle X