Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Welcome Home Birthday Meringue

Little James Finn and I were discharged from the hospital on my birthday last Saturday... trust me, coming OUT of that place was truly a gift in itself...coming home to this delicious thing, my birthday cake, was another. Going from hospital food to this was huge progress.

My sweet mom and husband had completely cleaned the apartment, decorated it, and left flowers on the counter for our arrival back. A few days prior to Finn's birth, my mom had inquired as to what type of birthday cake I wanted for the bday: it left me pondering for a while but just the day before my labor, I made a few magazine purchases for my hospital stay, and among them was the Food Network June issue. In between heart-twisting contractions I found this chocolate pavlova and focused on its potential yumminess while trying not to die from pain! Stars above my head circled about, birds chirped, and whether or not it was from the delicious thought of eating a chocolate meringue with mounds of cream or simply from the agonizing labor, this cake, was for sure, the one to celebrate year 28 with.

So, off my mom went to make this, her first chocolate pavlova attempt, and it was out of this world good!! I highly, highly recommend it to you. The meringue tastes almost like a dense brownie, and then of course, what could go wrong with sweetened whipped cream and berries on top? Oh, and don't worry about the balsamic vinegar thing-- it cooks right out but adds some depth and color.

Oohhh enjoy. Bring me a slice if you make it, k?

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
{Food Network}

6 large egg whites

2 cups superfine sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the Topping:

2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened

4 cups raspberries

1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate, shaved

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. Flip the paper over so your meringue doesn't touch the pencil marks - you'll still be able to see the circle.

Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. 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 one to one and a quarter hours. When it's ready, it should look crisp and dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel some kind of softness.

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 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 over the top.

The end!


Sara said...

you are seriously amazing to be posting so soon. congrats on Baby boy Finn ( I love his name). Looks like he is a healthy beautiful boy. This looks delicious, good choice.

Emily said...

Good to be loved! What a home welcoming!