I thought I would ease you into the whole Easter chocolate thing gently.
Well, I say gently, but in all honesty this is a big old smack in the face with a chocolate hit.
And it isn’t just for Easter either. This dessert is some-what of a staple when we have guests and / or need something easy. It doesn’t take much effort yet rewards you with the perfect meringue.
Crispy shell, chewy around the edges, marshmallow soft towards the centre and then the very middle dissolves on your tongue. It should keep everybody happy.
Apart from those people who like meringue that disintegrates into dusty shrapnel. Don’t invite them. In fact, don’t even talk to them.
I’m joking. Maybe.
I cheated – only a little – this time and sprinkled a bit of crumbled up Cadbury’s Flake on the top, but if you want to put in a little more effort then you can grate some dark chocolate onto the top.
Anyway, if you need a dessert that is easy to make and looks mighty impressive, look no further.
Oh, I nearly forgot, if you need to make this for more people simply double the quantities. Easy.
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 150ml double cream
- grated chocolate for decoration
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper to fit a large square baking tray.
- In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a large clean bowl, preferably metal, whisk the egg white with the salt until they form soft peaks.
- Keep whisking while you add the sugar & cocoa mixture, a spoonful at a time (I find it helpful to turn the speed of the whisk down a little while adding the sugar etc. and then turn it up after in order to prevent cocoa clouds). You should have a stiff, glossy, pale brown meringue.
- Dab a little of the meringue mixture on the corners of the baking tray in order to help stick the paper to the tray, preventing it from moving all over the place as you shape the meringue.
- Dollop the meringue into the middle of the paper and gently shape it into a round shape that vaguely resembles the top of a boater hat. The top does need to be as flat as you can make it.
- Place it in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 150 Celsius / 130 fan / 300 Fahrenheit.
- Bake for one hour then turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside to cool down with the oven.
- Once the meringue is completely cold, remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a serving dish.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks and spread on top of the meringue. Sprinkle over the chocolate.
The pavlova can be assembled in advance, but I wouldn’t do it more than an hour / hour and a half before you are going to eat it or the cream will make the top of the meringue a little soggy. Keep in a cool place until needed.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015
Adapted from Cappuccino Pavlova from Nigella Lawson’s Nigellisma.