As a child pavlova was my absolute favorite dessert. My mum would always buy one if we had a guest for sunday lunch. My love of meringue has never wained as I have grown over the years. Meringue has always been famed as rather tricky to make (although I think it has a rather misguided reputation). As long as you follow the basic principles then they should turn out fine and dandy.
I’ve shied away from making a pavlova in Korea for several reasons. The main ones being my lack of electric beater and my toaster oven being too small. However if your oven is of a decent size, I highly recommend you try making this delicious dessert.
120z of caster sugar
6 egg whites
1 table-spoon of cornflour
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
400ml of Whipped cream
A selection of fresh berries
Separate your eggs (whites only) and whisk them to stiff peaks in a clean mixing bowl. I would recommend an electric whisk unless you are very strong. Although my friend matt, seems to make them even better by hand than I can using the beater. So I guess it’s all in the wrist action (I assume he gets a lot of practice). You need the egg whites to be as stiff as possible as they will only get softer as you beat in the sugar. An old trick , is to beat them stiff enough so they are able to stay in the bowl when held upside down. Beat in the caster sugar a bit at time until it has been incorporated into the egg whites so the form soft peaks. Stir in the cornflour and vinegar to help them hold their shape and give them some extra gloss, although this step is not essential.
Line a baking tray with a piece of greaseproof paper. Draw a circle on the greaseproof paper and fill it in with a layer of the meringue. Then build up the edges by spooning or piping blobs around the outside until it forms the pavlova shape. Bake in an oven set to 150 degrees centigrade for about an hour until the meringue has set. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to dry out for a few hours, ideally overnight.
Pavlovas should be assembled at the last moment, so wait until you are ready to serve before adding the cream. Whisk the cream (add a little icing sugar and vanilla extract if you have a sweet tooth) and fill the pavlova then top with mixed berries. You can top your pavlova with anything you like, although I always think chocolate and nuts goes down well.
If your pavlova cracks and breaks when your putting it on to your serving dish don’t worry, just cover it with cream and no one will be any wiser. .. If your meringue turns out too flat for a pavlova you can always break it into pieces and use it to make Eton mess, another british classic.