it is incredibly hard to believe that this little baby is twenty-one today. he requested pavlova chocolat in lieu of a traditional birthday cake and that is what he got.
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
2 cups heavy cream
1 T. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
4 cups raspberries
1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate
preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. draw a 9-inch-diameter circle on the paper with a pencil. flip the paper over so you can see through it to spoon the meringue onto it.
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.
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.
mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula and bake in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for one to one and a quarter hours. when it is ready, it will look crisp and dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers.
turn off the oven and open the door slightly. let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven. peel off the parchment and put on a plate.
whisk the cream till thick but still soft. add vanilla and sugar and pile it on top of the meringue. scatter the raspberries on top. Coarsely grate the chocolate haphazardly over the top.