When you have had a bad day there is nothing like a slice of my friend Caroline’s yummy chocolate Pavlova to cheer you up. This uses the same method as a regular pavlova but with the addition of cocoa powder instead of cornflour. Make sure you beat the sugar into the egg whites well as failure to do so will cause your pavlova to leak sugar syrup when it is cooking. Enjoy!
For the meringue
6 egg whites
300 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sieved)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
For the topping
500 millilitres double cream
500 grams raspberries/ blueberries/strawberries
3 tablespoons dark chocolate (coarsely grated)or icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and you can hold them over your head and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar.
Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound on to a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300ºF 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 centre you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely.
When you’re ready to serve, slide on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the berries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble and sprinkle on top. Alternatively dust with icing sugar.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova