Nigella Lawson, one of my absolute favorite celeb chefs, got me hooked on her pavlova recipe. I made it so many times that I began to adapt it as I went along.
The recipe below is a reflection of all this toying around. The dessert is like a work of art and has all the essentials a great dessert should have: the glossy meringue shell is crisp and rich, the whipped cream topping is soft and delectable, and the raspberries add the perfect dose of tartness. Once you get the hang of making these, it’s pure joy.
6 large egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup skinned hazelnuts, ground
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
4 cups raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until satiny peaks form. Add the granulated sugar, ¼ cup at a time, and continue beating until the meringue becomes stiff and very shiny. Using a spatula, fold in the hazelnuts, cinnamon, and balsamic vinegar.
Spoon the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, forming a 10-inch circle that is about 2 inches thick. Place in the oven, and immediately turn the temperature down to 300°F. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the meringue looks and feels dry. Let cool in a dry place overnight.
Invert the pavlova onto a serving dish, peel away the parchment, and flip over onto the dish. Combine the cream and brown sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into the center of the pavlova, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the raspberries over the whipped cream and serve.
This recipe appears courtesy of The Modern Menu: Simple. Beautiful. Kosher. By Kim Kushner
Photograph by Andrew Zuckerman