The battle continues, was the humble pavlova born in Australia or our beautiful neighbour, New Zealand? Either way, make this pav – a blend of crunchy meringue and fluffy marshmallow, topped with whipped cream and seasonal fruit – for the family this Australia Day- or any summer day.
Such a simple dessert which is always a crowd pleaser, it takes next to nothing to prepare and is relatively inexpensive. What’s not to love about that? Making your own pavlova does take some practice – and patience, to get it right, but rest assured, if it’s not as perfect as you’d hoped it to be, it still tastes finger licking good, cracks and all!
My tips to pavlova success are to make sure everything that is going to touch your pavlova mix is clean as a whistle. Wash all your bowls and beaters, rinse by pouring boiling water over everything and dry with a clean tea towel. Secondly, bake it the night before you need it and leave it in the oven overnight to cool completely.
- Makes : 1
- Prep time : 30 mins
- Cooking time : 1 hr 20 mins
- 150g of egg white (about 4 to 5 eggs, separated)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbs cornflour, sifted
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 300ml whipping cream
- seasonal fruit (a punnet of strawberries and a couple of nectarines will do nicely)
- Preheat oven to 150°C.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add the sugar, beating well between additions, until the mixture is stiff and glossy – this can take anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes. You don’t want to see any gritty sugar bits in it, it should be super smooth!
- Resist the urge to eat the meringue straight from the mixing bowl. Add the cornflour and vinegar. Mix until just combined.
- On a piece of non-stick baking paper, trace an 18cm bowl for a circle shape. Prepare a baking tray with the piece of baking paper (make sure circle is on the underside or you’ll end up with lead pencil on your dessert).
- Fill the circle with the meringue mixture, building up the sides a little to form a slight bowl shape.
- Reduce the oven to 120°c and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Do not open the oven door during cooking, no matter how much you want to. When the cooking time is up, simply turn off the heat and leave the pavlova to cool inside the oven.
- Once cool, whip the cream by hand or with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Carefully spoon cream onto the top of the pavlova and top with sliced fruit. Finish off with grated chocolate if you’re feeling rebellious.
- This recipe serves around eight people. Or my family of five who are very enthusiastic about dessert.