Fruity, creamy, chewy, melty yumminess! (photo by Ashley)

Pavlova is a quintessential dish for British dinner parties. It’s light and fluffy enough not to leave you with a food baby, but indulgent enough to leave you sure you’ve had a good dessert. You can use almost any fruit with this pavlova – I like to use strawberries and raspberries, but if they’re not in season, why not use kiwi and mandarin (tinned works nicely)?

You will need:

  • 6 egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 250 – 500 mls double cream (depends how naught you’re feeling!)
  • Fruit to garnish
  1.  You will need your apron for this one, ladies and gents. And get something fluffy on the iPod. I suggest the Little Mermaid soundtrack, but to each their own.
  2. Preheat your oven to 140°c.
  3. Place your egg whites in a freestanding mixer and beat on a high speed until you have stiff peaks. This is crucial, so don’t be impatient. Just leave it whizzing away while you have a little boogie around the kitchen.
  4. When you’re at the stiff peak stage and the whites stand up on their own, turn the speed of the mixer down to medium. Now, one tablespoon at a time, slowly add the sugar (and the pinch of salt) to the mix. The slower the better, as this makes it light and fluffy.
  5. Once the mixture is glossy and stiff, remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the vinegar and vanilla.
  6. When it’s ready, line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, and then spoon out your pavlova into a round nest shape, creating a shallow dent in the middle.
  7. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, then switch the oven off and let it cool inside. Do not remove the pavlova until the oven is completely cold. It might be a good plan to leave it over night if you’re making it of an evening.
  8. Now, about 10 mins before you are ready to serve, whisk your double cream until it is thick. Don’t go mad – cream has a definite point where it goes from fluffy to stodgy in an instant, so keep a close eye on it and stop every few seconds to check your consistency.
  9. When you’re happy, spread out over the top of the meringue and garnish with your chosen fruit.
  10. Serve to happy guests!