Pavlova is an iconic New Zealand dessert and for me it brings back strong memories of summer barbecues growing up. Pavlova is like a meringue but it has a gooey marshallowey centre. It is also one of my favourite desserts, though until recently I had never attempted to make one.
Pavlovas and meringues are easy to mess up and because of that I had always been hesitant to try one. However with the guidance of my big sister and Nigella Lawson‘s recipe (my Pavlova Queens) I was able to pull it off.
It turns out if you know a few tricks and follow the recipe exactly, its not such a difficult recipe.
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of corn flour
250 grams of strawberries
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of water
2 teaspoons of corn flour
2 more tablespoons of water
+ Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Trace a 7- 9 inch diameter circle on baking paper and use this to line a baking tray this will you to ensure your Pavlova is the correct size when you put it on the tray.
+ Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl. It’s very important that your mixing bowl is clean and dry, otherwise your egg whites wont whip. You can wet some kitchen paper with a bit of vinegar and wipe the inside of the bowl, this will ensure it is oil free.
+ Whisk the egg whites until they form soft white peaks. It’s a good idea to use an electric mixer, I whisked them by hand and my arm felt as though it was going to drop off. It also took forever.
+ Once the egg whites reach white peak stage slowly add in the sugar one spoonful at a time, ensuring each spoonful is incorporated before adding the next.
+ Continue beating the egg whites until they are stiff and the sugar has dissolved. Here you can rub some of the mixture between your fingers, if there is some grit to it you need to keep mixing.
+ Next fold in vinegar, corn flour and vanilla to combine.
+ Spread the mixture on to the baking tray with the circle ring. Place the tray into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 130 degrees Celsius.
+ Cook for one hour, once the hour is up turn off the oven and leave the Pavlova to cool completely, this may take a couple of hours.
Pavlovas can be decorated with any kind of fruit but I like strawberries so I made a simple sauce while it was cooling. I made quite a bit of sauce so you could halve the recipe.
To make the sauce:
+ Hull and halve strawberries and put them in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and the sugar. Simmer for 10 mins (keeping an eye on it).
+ Mix corn flour with the rest of the water and add to the strawberries, simmer for a further 5 mins.
+ Remove from heat, allow to cool and blend. If you don’t have a blender you could skip that step, it looked quite good with chunks in it.
+ Once the Pavlova is cooled and ready to be eaten, top with whipped cream strawberry sauce and chopped up strawberries.