Try This at Home: How to Make Pavlova
British chef Nigella Lawson, host of Nigella Express, shows us how to make a homemade pavlova dessert.
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
This classic dessert was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The British call it a "Pav." Make the Pavlova on the day you plan to serve it; it will taste best the day it's made.
Prepare the pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch-diameter circle on the paper with a pencil, tracing a round cake tin that size. (Tip: Flip the paper over so your meringue doesn't touch the pencil mark — you'll still be able to see the circle.)
Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites
Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form.
Make the meringue: Add the sugar
Beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
The meringue should have stiff, shiny peaks.
Add the chocolate
Sprinkle the cocoa, vinegar and then the chopped chocolate over the egg whites. Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in.
Shape the meringue
Secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a dab of meringue under each corner. Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula.
Bake the meringue
Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees F and cook for 1 to 1¼ hours. When it's ready, it should look crisp and dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers.
Let it cool
Turn off the oven and open the door slightly; let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven. When you're ready to serve, invert onto a big, flat-bottomed plate and peel off the parchment.
Decorate the Pavlova
Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter the raspberries on top. Coarsely grate the chocolate haphazardly over the top so that you get curls of chocolate rather than rubble, as you don’t want the raspberries' luscious color and form to be obscured. You want the Pavlova to look like a frosted cake.