Divine dessert, dinner and other delights..

Since I’m on a roll with the amazing desserts, I thought I’d post my current *favorite* dessert. I made it to take to a friend’s house for dinner, and my girlfriend absolutely delighted me by going back, not just for seconds, but also for thirds and fourths. Awesome.  I LOVED how unabashedly she fully enjoyed the dessert.

This is from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer.  It’s called Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova.  You can make it with any seasonal berry fruit: blackberries, strawberries, but it really is the *best* with raspberries.

As my friend Laura put it, “I love meringue, I love chocolate, I love raspberries, put it all together, oh my god!”

And it’s so simple, thanks Nigella!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
for chocolate meringue base:
6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, beat in sugar a spoonful at a time until stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over cocoa, vinegar and chocolate. Gently fold everything until thoroughly mixed. Mound onto baking sheet in fat, flat circle approx 9 inches in diameter. smoothing sides and top. Place in oven and immediately turn down to 300 degrees. cook 1 to 1.25 hrs. When done it’s crisp around edges, dry on top, but a bit soft in the middle when you prod the center. Turn oven off and leave slightly open, let the meringue cool completly.

for the topping:
2 .25 cups heavy cream
1 very full pint raspberries
2-3 tablespoons coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate

whisk cream ’til thick, pile on top, scatter over raspberries and chocolate.

Heavenly!

Seriously, I want to make this again and again and again. Only problem is, i’ll eat it!

And then, on a somewhat related note… we had the most amazing evening hanging out with our dear friends. I LOVE how passionately the kids play together. Here are a few of my favorites:

These two two year olds are good buddies. The curly one is mine.

The joy of playing naked in the warm summer evening and being totally comfortable in your body is a blessing that most of us lost long ago..

And I’ll leave you with this one. Two very funny characters. Having a ball goofing around together.

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