Do be sure to spend the money on some good chocolate and cocoa. And if you don't have superfine sugar on hand, don't buy it! Just process a cup plus two teaspoons of regular granulated sugar in a food processor to equal 1 cup of superfine sugar. See the recipe (and picture...) below.
Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova
Active: 35 minutes | Total" 1 hour 35 minutes (plus cooling time) | Serves 8-10 adults
--Nigella Lawson, Food Network Magazine, June 2010
FOR THE MERINGUE
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
4 Cups fresh raspberries
1-2 ounces dark chocolate, curled/grated
1. Prepare the Pan: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9" diameter circle onthe paper with a pencil, tracing a round cake tin that size. (Hint--Flip the paper over, so your meringue doesn't touch the pencil marks--you'll still be able to see the circle.)
2. Make the Meringue: Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar, one spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
3. 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 thouroughly mixed in.
4. Shape the Meringue: Secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a dab of meringue to each corner. Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and top with a spatula.
5. Bake the Meringue: Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees 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 the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers.
6. 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-bottomed plate and peel off the parchment.
and pour it on top of the meringue, then scatter the raspberries ontop. Coarsly grate/curl the chocolate haphazardly over the top so
that you get curls of chocolate rather than rubble, as you don't want
the raspberries' luscious color and form to be obscured. You want
the pavlova to look like a frosted cake.