Luscious soft whipped cream adorned with a blanket of deep red raspberries covering a delicate crisp chocolate crackle underneath all make this pavlova impossible to resist. This is a fantastic summer dessert, rich and satisfying yet simultaneously delicate and light. The chocolate pavlova contrasts the unsweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries perfectly both in flavor and texturally. You will adore every bite. From the delicate edges of the pavlova that seem to melt in your mouth followed by chocolaty chewy bites as you get further toward the center, all enhanced by the smooth creamy topping and burst of freshness from the raspberries. Simply put, this is a delightful summer dessert that will impress all. And while you accept your praises, you can keep to yourself how amazingly easy it was to make!
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer (Buy now here.)
Serves 8 – 10.
For the chocolate meringue base:
6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the topping:
2 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 very full pint of raspberries
2-3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate curls
Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for about one to one and a quarter hours. When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be 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, and let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely.
When you’re ready to serve, invert onto a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till think but still soft and pile it on top if the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries. Grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don’t want the raspberries’ luscious color and form to be obscured, and sprinkle over the top.
- To help achieve the circle, take the piece of parchment and draw a 9" circle on it. Parchment is so thin that once inverted you will still be able to see the outline of your circle. This little step makes getting the perfect sized circle a snap. If you don’t have compass you can simply take some kitchen twine (or any thin sting), tie one end to a pen (just check to see if the pen will write on parchment first) and measure and mark a 4.5 inch length from the point of the pen. Then hold the mark in the center of the parchment and spin the pen around with the string taught. Go all the way around and you’ll end up with a 9 inch circle.
- As you can see in the photo, other fruit works well too. We happened to have a berry mix already in the house when we made the photoed version so that’s what we topped it with. Still delicious. Though raspberries do work best.
- Be sure to have a large plate to serve this on. It will expand a bit and end up larger than the 9 inches. The first time we made it I had to put it on a cutting board as we didn’t have a plate big enough. We have since rectified that with the gorgeous Heath Ceramics serving platter you see pictured.