Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova is a staple at our house and always a hit at dessert time. It has only 50g of chocolate but packs a big chocolatey punch. You can make this on the day, but it will keep in an airtight container for a week or even two and can then be assembled with cream and raspberries at one's leisure.
The secrets to a good pavlova include-
- a squeaky clean metal or glass mixer bowl and beaters, I rub a cut lemon over the inside of the bowl to make sure there is no oily residue
- separate the eggs while they are cold, but bring the whites to room temperature before beating them
- beat the mixture really well so that all the sugar is dissolved, I beat this pavlova for 15 minutes
- use a metal spoon to incorporate any sugar on the side of the bowl or to fold in any other ingredients
- leave the pavlova to cool completely in the oven after it is cooked
I use frozen raspberries when they are not in season and they defrost quite quickly once they are added on top. I find I use less cream than the recipe calls for, but go with what you prefer.
I needed to turn the oven temperature down as mine is fan-forced. The recipe says 150*C when you put the pavlova in the oven, but I actually turned it down to 130*C. Don't worry about cracks, as Nigella suggests you invert the pavlova onto the serving plate!!!
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova serves 8-12
- 6 egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tspn balsamic vinegar, but I have used malt or even white at a pinch
- 3 tbspn cocoa, sifted
- 50g good dark chocolate, chopped finely
- 500ml thickened cream, whipped
- 500g raspberries
- a little extra dark chocolate, grated
Preheat the oven to 180*C and grease and line a large baking tray. If you want to make a round pavlova, draw a circle the size you want on the underside of the baking paper before you place it on the tray, then you can use it as a guide.
Then begin adding the sugar. Add one spoonful at a time, and then beat for a minute. Repeat until all the sugar is used. This took 15 minutes for me. Also, keep an eye on the sides of the bowl as some sugar will collect there. Scrape down the sides to incorporate the sugar a few times.
The mixture will be very thick and glossy and when you rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger it should be smooth and not gritty at all. I stood there with a book and a timer and just resigned myself to a 15 minute, often interrupted, reading session!!
And that's the hardest part done. Add the vinegar, chocolate and cocoa and, using a metal spoon, gently fold it in until well combined. I use the slowly go round the bowl side and then scoop down and then up into the middle method. It takes a few minutes but it is worth the extra effort.
Spoon the mixture onto the tray and form it into the desired shape. It does spread, so make your pavlova higher then you think you need too, smoothing the edges and the top. Put into the oven and turn the temperature down to 150*C or 130*C for a fan-forced oven.
Bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours. It is cooked when the top and sides are crisp and dry, though it may still be a little soft in the centre. Turn the oven off and with the door slightly ajar leave the pavlova to cool completely.
At this stage you can place the pavlova in an airtight container and keep it in the cupboard for 1-2 weeks if you so choose. Or you can invert it onto the serving plate, pile it high with cream and raspberries and sprinkle it with the grated dark chocolate and eat it with delight!!