Hi, can I use granulated sugar instead of caster sugar in the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova recipe? I live in Canada and caster sugar is not easy to find. Thank you!
Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova (from NIGELLA SUMMER) is a chocolate meringue that is studded with chopped chocolate, which gives a rich, almost brownie-like base. For meringues Nigella uses caster sugar, as it has fine crystals that dissolve quickly. If the sugar is not dissolved properly in the egg whites then meringues can tend to "weep".
US and Canadian granulated sugar tends to have finer crystals than British granulated sugar and can be used for some baking. However, our preference would be to use superfine sugar as this has fine crystals that will dissolve easily. If granulated sugar is the only option then add the sugar slowly so that it has more time to dissolve in the egg whites. Rub a little of the meringue between your fingers once all of the sugar has been added. If it feels grainy then you can try whisking the meringue for longer to dissolve the sugar further. However, if you beat the meringue for too long it could cause the pavlova meringue to sink more dramatically once it has baked (a little cracking of the surface on cooling is normal for a pavlova).