I think my love for ballet began back in fourth grade when I read Anna Pavlova's biography. While my friends were obsessing over Mary Lou Retton, I was transfixed and mesmerized by the legendary Russian dancer from the early 1900's. You know that dinner party question..."who would you have dinner with if you could invite anyone in history, living or dead?". Anna would definitely be on my guest list even today.
So...it's probably no surprise that one of my very favorite desserts is the Pavlova. (Yes, of course it's named after her). This past Valentine's Day I was assigned dessert for our potluck dinner with friends, and found something even better...a chocolate Pavlova. It received rave reviews for the crispy outside, chewy dense meringue center, luscious ganache, and fluffy topping of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Hungry yet?
The recipe is here, and I'll add in one little word of warning. On Valentine's, a few of us tried to cut the meringue into serving sizes, and had a helluva time. I don't think it was entirely due to the yummy Gloria Ferrer we had consumed either. I was lucky to be spending Valentine's with five other people I'm totally crazy about instead of just one, because we ended up putting the Pavlova in the middle of the table and descending upon it like messy, cozy vultures, silverware be damned. If you see this as a problem or if you are making this for a first date, you could easily just make 4-6 individual meringue shells from the same recipe. Personally, it was extra fun to be goey and chocolatey with friends and I'll be keeping the recipe as is.