During any given activity throughout the day–whether it’s buying a coffee, standing in line at the bank or boarding a plane–if you stop and look around you’ll no doubt see several people around you reading their messages on their smart phones. Guess it is not surprising that 2.8 million emails are sent every second.
I read an article on a recent flight that underscored the importance of “disconnecting” while on vacation–that we need to savour each moment and not worry about “reporting” on the moment through social media, so that we can participate fully in our “real-life” relationships.
Can you tell that I took this message to heart? It helps to explain why I haven’t been posting and commenting recently. I’ve just returned from a week’s vacation in cottage country and I was “unplugged” for most of the week. (Okay, I did spend an hour one day commenting while the kids where kayaking with their dad.)
Now that I’m recharged (and excited to get cooking again) I want to share this Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe with you. I make it every summer and it is always a crowd favourite. I made it a few weeks a go for a farewell dinner for our good friends who moved back to Israel after living in Canada for four years. We had a wonderful night, even though it was very sad to say good-bye. I’ll think of them whenever I make this pavlova from now on.
The best part about this pavlova is the fudgey chocolately centre that is quite unexpected the first time you take a bite. It’s the reason that the ponytails LOVE this dessert!
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
Very slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer
For the chocolate meringue base:
- 6 egg whites
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
For the topping:
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 12 – 18 oz raspberries (2 to 3 containers; 6 ounces each)
- 2-3 tbsp grated semi-sweet or dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites until 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.
Heap the meringue mixture on to a baking sheet in a 9 inch circle, smoothing the sides and top.
Place in the oven, then immediately lower temperature to 300° and cook for 60 to 75 minutes. It should look crisp around the edges and be dry on top. It is slightly squishy when you push down on the top. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly and let cool completely.
To serve, place the meringue on a large flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the whipping cream until thick. Add sugar. Pile the whipped cream on top of meringue, then add the raspberries. Grate the chocolate over the top.
- Don’t forget to turn the oven down to 300° when you put the pavlova in the oven!
- I’ve made this several times each summer for many years now and the meringue always cracks. Don’t worry, it still looks great once you add the whipped cream and raspberries.
- Be sure to wash the raspberries well in advance of making this and place them on a paper towel to dry. This will ensure that the raspberries don’t run when you place them on the whipped cream.
- I used 2 containers of raspberries this time, but normally I like to use 3 so that the raspberries are densely piled on the pavlova.
- I also usually grate the chocolate into curls, but I was in a hurry to serve this and just finely grated the chocolate. The chocolate curls look more impressive, if you have time.