This is my first attempt at the famous "Pavlova." After a few disasters making Merangue, I thought I'd never be able to make this "egg-white wonder." However, I thought I'd have a go as we have a lot of raspberries growing in our little garden.
It turned out far better than I expected. It had crunch outside and marshmallow texture inside. I'm so happy about the result. The only issue was the colour. It was as white as snow before I put it in the oven, but it came out slightly brown. So I asked my baking friends what I should have done to make it a "VERY white" Pavlova. So, here is the list to check.
- Set the oven temperature VERY low. Think of "drying" rather than "baking".
- Turn the temperature down immediately after when the pavlova goes in the oven.
- Use a "conventional oven" rather than a "fan oven".
- Make pavlova in the evening and leave it to cool in the oven overnight.
- Keep the oven door shut when it's cooling if you want to have a "marshmallow" texture inside.
- Don't worry if it goes a bit beige, it's natural.
- "The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations, Australia and New Zealand, for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source," according to Wikipedia.
For the Base
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium free range eggs, at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
For the topping
- Your choice of fresh summer fruit
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 250ml creme fraiche
- Preheat the oven to 140°C (fan).
- Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment, cutting it to fit. Using a cake tin or plate as a template, draw a 23cm diameter circle on the parchment with a pencil.
- Place the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract in a small bowl and blend with a teaspoon until smooth.
- Separate the eggs one at a time, taking care not to include any yolks with the whites.
- As each egg is separated, tip the white into the large mixing bowl. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff enough to hold their shape.
- Whisk in the sugar a tablespoonful at a time, adding a little of the cornflour mixture each time.
- When all the sugar and cornflour has been added, the consistency of the mixture will be thick and marshmallowy.
- Using the spatula, turn the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread it to the marked line, then swirl with the spatula, making a slight indentation in the centre for the filling.
- Reduce the temperature of the oven to 120°C (fan) and bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and leave the pavlova base to cool completely in the oven.
- Spread some lemon curd, apricot jam or home-made summer fruit coolee over the indent in the pavlova. Then top up with the creme fraiche and decorate with the summer fruit.