Sunday, 23 March 2014

Chocolate Pavlova

The other day, something very strange happened. I had a whole box of eggs in the fridge that were about to expire. I needed something to use up all six eggs, that I could make relatively quickly so I turned to my favourite dessert: Pavlova.

I have loved pavlova for as long as I can remember. It is, without a doubt, my favourite thing to eat. But, I am very picky. The outside has to be crisp and the inside has to be gooey.

One of the girls in work made Nigella's Chocolate Pavlova a few years ago, and I was instantly obsessed. I went home and tried it out straight away for myself and since then there has been no looking back. It is meringue just as I like it: crisp and gooey. But the best bit has to be the hidden chocolate chunks folded through the meringue.

I made this for my friend once, who was quick to inform me that she doesn't really like pavlova. I left the room for five minutes and when I came back half the thing was gone. That has to be a good sign, right?!?!

Chocolate Pavlova with Whipped Cream and Strawberries
(adapted from Nigella Lawson)
6 large egg whites
300g caster sugar
3 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50g dark chocolate, chopped
500ml double cream
300g strawberries
10g dark chocolate, grated

Line a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180ºC. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until fully combined and the meringue is stiff. (You should be to hold the bowl upside down over your head without the meringue falling out!) Add the cocoa, balsamic and chocolate and gently fold through. Mound the meringue onto your lined baking tray, making the edges a little bit taller. (This will hold in your cream and fruit.) Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 150ºC and cook for approximately and hour. The meringue should be crisp to the touch, but you know that if you press too hard it will crack. Leave the meringue in the oven, with the door opened slightly, to cool completely. (This part is very important!) When it is cool, whisk the cream until thickened and gently spread it on top of the meringue. Either scatter or place your strawberries on top and sprinkle over the grated chocolate.

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