Recipe: Nigella Lawson's cappuccino pavlova
- 1-1⁄4 cups superfine sugar
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (not instant coffee granules)
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1-1⁄4 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a large baking with parchment paper and—if it helps— using a 9-inch cake pan as a guide—draw a circle on it with a pencil.
2 In a smallish bowl, mix the sugar with the instant espresso powder, and set aside for the moment.
3 In a clean, grease-free bowl, preferably metal (and wipe the inside with a piece of paper towel dipped in vinegar first, if you want) whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are holding soft peaks and keep whisking while you gradually add the sugar-coffee mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time.
4 When all this mixture is incorporated and you have a firm, gleaming écru-colored meringue, fold in—using a grease-free metal spoon—the cornstarch and vinegar.
5 Dollop large spoonfuls of the meringue mixture inside the drawn circle (or make a circle shape freehand if you prefer) on the parchment paper, and smooth and shape it with a spatula so that it looks rather like the crown of a straw boater hat: it must be flat on top.
6 Put this in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 300°F, and cook for 1 hour. The meringue’s outer shell should be crisp, but only just. When it’s ready, turn off the oven and leave the Pavlova base inside it until it’s cool.
7 Once the Pavlova base is cool, lift it carefully in its paper and place it, top-side down, on a large, flat plate, then gently peel off the paper.
8 Whip the heavy cream until thickened and airy, but still soft, and spread this delicately over the top (which previously was the bottom) of the meringue. With a teaspoon, push the cocoa powder through a fine strainer to decorate—cappuccino-style—the top.
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Excerpted from Nigellissima. Copyright © 2013 Nigella Lawson. Published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House of Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.