Pavlova

It’s summer here in Australia at the moment, and the weather has been amazing over Christmas.  The days have been clear and sunny, hot at around 30°C (which is about 86°F).  I remember being a kid, helping my mum or my grandmother bake sweets in the summer.  I particularly remember making the pavlova because my grandmother didn’t have an electric beater and it took forever to whip that egg white!

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 300mL thickened cream
  • fresh berries to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff, foamy peaks.
  3. Slowly add the caster sugar in small increments and ensure that it is fully mixed in before adding more.  You can check this by rubbing a small amount between your thumb and index finger to see if it is still grainy.  Once all sugar is mixed in the stiff peaks will be glossy.
  4. Fold in the cornflour and white vinegar.
  5. Pour the meringue mixture onto the baking paper and shape into a round form with a flat top.  The meringue will spread when baking so make sure you don’t make it too round.
  6. Turn oven down to 160°C (150°C fan forced) and place the meringue form into the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. At the end of the 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 100°C and leave for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Next turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar until the pavlova has completely cooled.  This will minimise the amount of cracking if it cools slowly.
  9. Whip the cream, then add to the top of the pavlova.
  10. Decorate with mixed fresh berries (or passionfruit pulp and kiwi fruit), or for a delicious twist, crush up two peppermint crisps and sprinkle over the top!

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