Chocolate Brownie and Raspberry Pavlova
Recently, The Family has graduated from a no-kitchen, two-ring hob and George Foreman grill (with added drilling) to a fully-fledged counters and cookers household. In my enthusiasm over the big step up, I forgot one key fact: nearly all of our kitchen equipment is still in storage.
Had I remembered the lack of electric whisk before I separated 6 eggs I like to think I would have abandoned Project: Pavlova as something which just wasn’t meant to be. As it is, I am forced to console myself with the knowledge that I am obstinate, so chances are I would have ploughed on regardless.
The Pavlova in question was Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova and as my arm and I struggled past the pain threshold, I began to have doubts. Maybe I should forgo the cocoa powder and dark chocolate bits. Perhaps now wasn’t the time to be messing with a classic: I was pretty sure I would cry if dessert wasn’t an unqualified success. The Family don’t mince their words.
Secure in the knowledge that previous Nigella pavlovas had been an unqualified success (unlike the supposedly legendary chocolate cakes, of which more another day) I forged on.
Of all the pavlova recipes I’ve ever tried (and I’ve sampled a lot) I think Nigella has the cooking part down pat. She preheats to 180°C, turns the oven down to 150°C when the pavlova goes in, cooks for an hour and then leaves the pavlova to cool in the oven with the door ajar. The new oven was untested, but in a drastic change to past practice, it seems you can simply do what the recipes say. No more decreasing the temperature by 20°C and adding 10 minutes for me!
And that was me done. I used frozen LIDL raspberries instead of fresh, and though they look a little mushy, they tasted delicious. Also, I used a mix of light cream and greek yoghurt for the topping, in deference to The Mammy’s dislike of creamy desserts. Nigella’s tasteful curls of dark chocolate didn’t quite work out from an aesthetic point of view, but they tasted delicious.
Not quite as pavlova-like as I was expecting, but all the elements were there, crispy crust with marshmellow-squishy insides. The dark chocolate chunks were wonderful, but in my head I’ve renamed this ‘Pavlova Brownie’. Everybody’s plate was cleared though, and Good Friday not withstanding, The Daddy had seconds.