Pavlova is a dessert originating from Australia or New Zealand (the debate is still open) which marries the wonderful trinity of sweet and marshmallowy meringue, soft and luscious whipped cream and sharp and fresh berries. Once you’ve given it a try, dessert will never be the same…
- 4 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup of/250g sugar
- 1 tsp of white wine or cider vinegar
- 2 tsp of cornstarch
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cups/20 cl whipping (35 % fat) cream
- 250g fresh strawberries
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper on which you have drawn a 7 inch/18 cm circle.
In a clean and dry bowl, start whisking the egg whites and pinch of salt on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks.
Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat at high speed until the meringue holds very stiff peaks.
Once all the sugar has been added, continue beating for another couple of minutes to ensure the sugar has been completely incorporated. The meringue should be smooth, thick and glossy.
Mix the vinegar, vanilla and cornstarch together. Fold this mixture into the meringue using a spoon or a spatula.
Bake for 1 hour in the centre of your oven.
When cooked the outside of the Pavlova should be dry and a creamy pale colour; turn the oven off, leave the door slightly open and let it cool completely in the oven.
In the meantime, whip the cream to soft peak stage.
Once the meringue has cooled, delicately peel the parchment paper off and transfer onto a serving dish. Fill the centre of the Pavlova with whipped cream and scatter or arrange the fresh strawberries on top.
Dust with icing sugar to cover any unsightly cracks and bring to the table amid the oohs and aahs of admiring guests.