If you're looking for a "special occasion" dessert, look no further. I made (and ate) this on a rainy Friday... which was special enough for me.
Raspberry and Chocolate Pavlova
For the Pavlova:
4 egg whites, at room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
For the Topping:
350g sour cream
55g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ganache made with 100g dark chocolate, chooped and 100ml cream
250g fresh raspberries
Make the Pavlova:
Preheat the oven to 150C. Mark a 20cm circle on a large piece of baking paper and line a large baking tray with it. Set aside.
Put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk for a further 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vinegar and whisk for a few more minutes. The meringue should be firm and glossy. Spoon about 1 cup of the mixture onto the circle on the baking paper. Use a palette knife to spread it evenly to cover the circle. Dollop spoonfuls of mixture around the circle to create a ring.
Decrease the oven temperature to 120C and bake the pavlova for 90 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven for a further 90 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.
Make the Topping:
Make the ganache by putting the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and setting it aside. Then, bring the cream to boiling point in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to a drizzling consistency.
Put the cream, sour cream, vanilla and icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until they form soft peaks.
Pile the whipped cream into the centre of the pavlova and top with fresh raspberries. Put the ganache into a disposable piping bag, snip a very small hole in the tip and and drizzle over the lot.