PAIRING WINE & DESSERT
Pairing wine with dessert is tricky since a general rule of thumb is to be sure the wine has as much (or more) sweetness than the food. But, we have to break the rules just this once. We’re obsessed with the Grant Grenache and this delicious, homemade chocolate pavlova. Is it the raspberries, the light airy texture of the meringue, or the subtle cocoa notes that make it so dangerously delicious to finish each bite with a sip? Run, don’t walk to try this scrumptious pairing.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE MERINGUE BASE
- 6 large egg whites
- 1½ cups superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
FOR THE CREAM TOPPING
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 pound Farmstead raspberries
- 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate (coarsely grated)
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound on to a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300ºF and cook for about one to one and a quarter hours. When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be 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, and let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely.
- When you’re ready to serve, invert on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don’t want the raspberries’ luscious color and form to be obscured, and sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate’s rim.
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