- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 250 grams caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornflour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 125 grams fresh raspberries, with extra to decorate
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup caster sugar (for the coulis)
- 300 millilitres fresh cream, whipped
Tried and true
Pavlova has been my mum’s speciality ever since I can remember, adding a sweet and marshmallowy touch to Christmases and birthdays. And because I’ve been so spoilt enjoying mum’s pavlova it was only a few short years ago I decided to give it a go myself.
This recipe is intended to look like Christmas wreath because of the shape, but I’ve made it so much that it’s an all-year-rounder now – the pavlova in the photos below was a Valentines Day treat for my lovely husband. I use an electric stand mixer to beat the egg whites which makes the preparation time super quick, and the hardest part of this delightful dessert is waiting out the hours for it to bake and cool.
Preheat the oven to 120°C and line a large tray with baking paper. Use a bowl or round baking tin to draw one large circle (approx 22 cm) then draw another circle inside (approx 13 cm).
Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar, a little at time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over sifted cornflour and vinegar, and fold in lightly (if using an electric hand or stand mixer, just a couple of turns is plenty). The meringue will be ready when you can up-end the bowl and it doesn’t move – it has to be pretty stiff.
Grab a dessert spoon and scoop a dollop of meringue. Place this dollop between the outside and inside line and repeat until a ring of meringue is complete. Create a second layer of meringue on top of the first until second ring is complete and flatten the top of the meringue with the back of the spoon so you have an nice even surface.
Place the pavlova in the in oven for 2 hours at 120°C. When the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the pavlova in the oven until it’s completely cool – I leave it for an hour, just to be safe. This is a really important step as it reduces the risk of the meringue cracking and collapsing.
While the meringue cools you can make the raspberry coulis. Blend the fresh raspberries, lemon juice, and sugar together until sugar has completely dissolved, then set aside to use later.
Decorate the pavlova by dolloping cream, drizzling coulis, and scattering fruit over the top, and serve immediately.
- Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature, not straight from the fridge otherwise it’s hard to beat them to the right consistency.
- Add ingredients to meringue in small amounts and consistently, to help them to dissolve into the egg whites.
- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT open the oven while the pavlova is baking! It may collapse – in which case you can always cover up the sunken-in areas with cream – but better to be safe than sorry.
- Keep the oven door closed with the pavlova inside until it’s completely cool (especially if you live in a hot and humid climate like me).
- If you’re making the pavlova ahead, store it in an airtight container and add the toppings just prior to serving it.
Recipe adapted from the Berry Christmas Pavlova as seen on mysquarefryingpan.com