Double Chocolate Rasberry Pavlova

I am happy to say, Ive made a recipe off my bucket list! I can now officially say, "I have successfully made a pavlova"! I tried making one years ago and it failed. This time, success! With the help of a New Zealand friend/pavlova making expert, I have changed this recipe a bit and converted the grams and celcius so it's a little more understandable. It took a long time to do this by the way!

There are a lot of steps to this but it really is not hard. I would also do as my friend Kerry Ann recommended, after you turn off the oven, don't open the door! Trust it's done and just let it cool for an hour, or better, overnight.

Double Chocolate Rasberry Pavlova
6 Egg Whites, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup Caster sugar, or super fine sugar (you can use regular white sugar)
3 Tablespoons Belgian cocoa powder (I used regular coco powder)
1 Tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces (I used Giradelli semi sweet baking chocolate)
Fresh raspberries to top
2 cups Heavy whipping cream, whipped and sweetened with a Tablespoon powdered sugar (I use about 1/2 cup, I like it sweet)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Place room temp. egg whites in the bowl of a mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.

2. Using a tablespoon at a time, add sugar into egg white mixture and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff and glossy. Be careful not to over-beat as it can start to separate. The mixture is ready once it forms stiff, glossy peaks and you can hold the bowl upside down without any of it falling out.

3. Sift in the cocoa powder, (I just sprinkled it in) add the vinegar and chopped up chocolate, using a large spoon slowly and carefully fold these into the egg white and sugar mixture until fully combined. the mixture will resemble a very light brown shade.

4. Line 2 large, flat oven trays with baking parchment - I find it a good tip to dab a little bit of the pavlova mixture underneath each corner of the paper as it helps it stick to the tray and avoids the paper slipping all over the place. (I just used one large sheet pan).

5. Place a 9" or 10" dinnerplate on the middle of each tray and draw firmly around the edge with a pencil or pen to form a circle - this will act as a guide and ensure both pavlovas are the same size. Flip the paper over so the ink/pencil lead is touching the tray side as opposed to the pavlova side, you'll still be able to see the line through the paper.

6. Load up each circle with the mixture, smoothing it out to the edge of the line you have just drawn, try to divide the mix equally so both have same volume of mix. I normally smooth out the mixture, but a Pavlova is not supposed to look perfect so feel free to form a few points and peaks if you want, when cooked they'll crisp up and add a bit more interest visually.

7. Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 275 degrees. Cook for 1hr to 1hr15mins. Do not open the oven door while the pavlova is cooking.

8. You'll know when the pavlova is cooked when it looks crisp at the edges which will have started to crack slightly. The top will be dry but if you press on the underside it'll give a little as the centre should be still a little squishy/soft. Place the pavlova back in the oven and leave the door slightly ajar, leave the pavolva to cool completely inside.

9. When it is cool, I place one disc on a serving platter or cake stand and spoon a big wallop of cream on top, scatter a good handful of fresh raspberries onto the cream and then place the second meringue disc on top. Again pile on a good amount of cream and the remainder of the raspberries. Sprinkle with finely chopped chocolate and serve. EnJOY!