I just made the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova. However it is very cracked, deep cracks, to the point that I wouldn't want to serve it to anyone. It tastes amazing, but doesn't look so good. I have been making individual Chocolate Pavlovas for many years, and regular Pavlovas, without any problems at all. I followed the recipe exactly. Wondering if you could give me any ideas as to why this has happened? I love Nigella's recipes and use many of them. With thanks, Roslyn
Unfortunately chocolate pavlovas do have a tendancy to crack and if you look at the photograph of Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova (from Forever Summer and on the Nigella website) you will see that has cracks around the edges. We suspect the cracking is caused by a combination of the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate which are aded to the mixture. Smaller individual pavlovas may crack less as the structure is smaller.
If the cracks are very large it could also be that the oven is a little too hot and in a conventional oven you may like to consider using a low shelf. One of the advanatages of a pavlova is that when served it is smothered with whipped cream which usually hides most of the cracks. If a smooth surface is important then you could also flip the chocolate maringue disc over and serve it with the base side up.