For a light but luxurious dessert there is nothing much better than a pavlova. I decided to make one with strawberries for the topping. Of course there are any number of fruits, nuts, berries etc. that you can top a pavlova with.
The main part of making pavlova is the meringue, which should be crisp on the outside and soft inside, chewy like a marshmallow. This is achieved by adding a little cornflour and vinegar(or similar) to the egg whites and sugar whilst mixing them. Then, having baked the meringue it needs to be left in the turned off oven for about 3 hours, until it has cooled completely. This process helps to firm the outside a little more. Of course cracks may appear on t
he outside of the meringue . That is quite normal and is nothing to be concerned about, since simply serving the pavlova will make the meringue break up and disintegrate.
Having made the meringue the final steps are very simple, whip some cream and spoon onto the meringue, then top with strawberries, or whichever topping you decide upon. You can also swirl some curd or syrup through the cream if desired, for additional flavour.
Mine turned out very well indeed. It did crack some, but held the shape very well. Having made a well/dip in the centre of the meringue the cream was easy to spoon in and fill. Then the fruit on the topped finished it off very well.
It tasted so good too, as I knew it would, with cream and strawberries, complementing the crisp and marshamallowy meringue. I should say that how much cream and fruit you use is a personal preference. The recipe below suggests 300ml of cream though I used about 350ml.
This is a rich dessert with all that sugar and cream, but I do have some lighter strawberry recipes too such as Strawberry Cream Cheese Tarts.
- 4 medium egg whites(large in USA)
- 175g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar
- 5g(1 1/2 tsp) cornflour
- 7 1/2 ml(1 1/2 tsp) white wine vinegar(or vinegar or lemon juice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (half for meringue and the other half for the cream)
- 300ml (1 1/4 cups) double cream (you can adjust this amount to your own preference)
- 25g(2 tbsp) caster sugar (if you wish to sweeten the cream a little
- 300g( about 12 ounces) strawberries, or whatever fruits and berries you wish.
- Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/300F
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper that has had an 8inch/20cm circle drawn in the centre( turn the paper over so the circle is underneath but can be seen through the paper).
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk them until they are frothy(you can do this by hand but it is much more effort).
- Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, with the whisk on high speed, until all the sugar is absorbed and the egg whites are glossy and achieve stiff peaks.
- Add half the vanilla extract into the egg whites
- Mix the cornflour into the white wine vinegar and the pour into the egg whites.
- Scoop the meringue mixture into the circle on the parchment paper.
- Use a spatula or spoon to spread the meringue to completely fill the circle up to the edges.
- Make a well in the meringue if you wish, leaving the edges higher than the centre.
- Place the meringue into the oven and bake for one hour.
- Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in for a further three hours, or until it is completely cooled.
- Wash the strawberries, then hull them and chop into smaller pieces if they are large. Dry them off and set aside.
- Remove the meringue and gently place on a serving platter
- Whip the double cream, adding the vanilla extract and the 2 tbsp of sugar, until it has thickened well. Don’t whip it so far that it turn almost into butter(if it does just whip in a little more cream to loosen it).
- Spoon the cream into the well of the meringue and spread to fill it completely.
- Cover the cream with the strawberries, piling them as high as you like.
- Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve the pavlova.