Easy. Tasty. Wonderful. Pavlovas can be “filled” with with many toppings; this combination is my favorite. Instead of one large Pavlova, you can make several, smaller, individual ones; the baking time will be less.
4 egg whites
3/4 c sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 t balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated
2 c whipped cream (from 1 cup heavy cream), or 2 c sour cream/yogurt combo
1 pint raspberries
2 – 3 T coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you wish, using an 8-inch plate as a template, draw a circle with a pencil. Flip the paper over.
2. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, in roughly tablespoon amounts, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding another, until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa, the vinegar and the chopped chocolate. Fold into the meringue until the cocoa is thoroughly incorporated. Dump onto the baking sheet, in the circle. Mold into a roundish shape, with the edges slightly higher than the center, so that it looks like a shallow bowl. Don’t worry too much about this part. You can always press the center down after its baked. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the heat down to 300ºF. Bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours. The edges should be crisp and the top dry, but, when pressed, the pavlova should have a bit of sponginess. Turn off the oven, put the pavlova back in the oven, and, with the door slightly ajar, let it cool completely.
3. When ready to serve, invert onto a large, flat-bottomed plate. Pile cream or sour cream/yogurt combo on top of meringue. Scatter raspberries over whipped cream. Sprinkle the grated chocolate over all.