I watched Nigella make this on one of her old shows that the Cooking Channel still airs. It is such an impressive and beautiful dessert and is so simple to make. Matt was having a client over for dinner and he made his famous lasagna - everything, from the sauce to the pasta, is made from scratch. I wanted to make something light to end the meal and a pavlova was the perfect way to do it. Nigella's chocolate version is so great because it doesn't really taste like meringue, yet it's still perfectly light like a meringue. The outside is crisp and the inside is fudgey like a flourless chocolate cake. Although this dessert is topped with whipped cream, somehow it still tastes amazingly light.
- 6 egg whites
- 300g sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 50g chopped semi sweet chocolate, plus extra for shaving on top
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 container of raspberries
- edible flowers (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat the egg whites until peaks form, doing this in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer makes it easier. Then slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time until the mixture is stiff and shiny. Sift the cocoa powder on top of the mixture and add the vinegar and chopped chocolate. Gently fold the mixture together until well combined. It should be a light brown color with no white or brown streaks. Trace a 9 inch cake pan onto a piece of parchment paper. Mound the meringue onto the paper and smooth the sides and top.
Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300F and cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. When it's ready it should look dry and crisp around the edges but the middle will look fudgey with cracks all around. Turn the oven off and let the meringue disc cool completely before taking it out of the oven. Your whole kitchen will smell like hot chocolate.
When you are ready to serve, carefully move the meringue disc onto a cake stand or plate. Whip the cream until it is thick. Top the meringue with the whipped cream, berries and flowers. Shave chocolate over the top and serve!