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
- 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.
- Preheat your oven to 140°c.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the mixture is glossy and stiff, remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the vinegar and vanilla.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When you’re happy, spread out over the top of the meringue and garnish with your chosen fruit.
- Serve to happy guests!