I love a good pavlova. I love the crispy sweet shell and mallow’y centre. I love that it’s versatile, and can be turned into Eton mess if flopped.
I’ve had my fair share of pavlovas over the past few years. We always have it as one the many puddings after Christmas Lunch. Mum usually makes the meringue base, and I, usually sort out the creamy filling and add the fruit. It’s always a bit of joke as I do my bit right at the end, after a polite ‘excuse me’ from the dinner table. Guests are blown away when I return with the pretentious showstopper, and always ooh and ahh and commend me on MY efforts. Meanwhile, mum does all the hard work and I always have to politely ensure that the credit is directed towards her. Whether making little meringue nests for me to sell at school market days, or turning them into big numbers for sparkler-adorned birthday cakes, Mum is the Queen of pavlovas.
The secret to a good pavlova is to bake the meringue low and slow. This is key to obtain the to-die-for chewy centre. You can make the meringue the night before, and store in an airtight container before serving. Also, this pudding doesn’t keep well. It is important that is assembled just before serving.
6 Jumbo egg whites
1 ½ cups castor sugar
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. corn flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
250 ml whipping cream
250 ml greek yoghurt (unsweetened)
2 tbsp. icing sugar, sifted
Seeds of ½ vanilla pod
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
Kiwi, gooseberries, mandarins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 100°C, use thermofan setting. Beat eggs whites until stiff using an electric mixer. Add castor sugar in intervals, beating continuously. Add vanilla, corn flour and white vinegar and beat until incorporated.
- Assemble meringue on a greaseproof-paper lined oven tray. The meringue should be rectangular bowl-like, with a thick base and spiky edges.
- Bake at 100°C for 45 min. Turn heat down to 70°C and bake for a further 2.5 h. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Whip cream until soft peak. Fold in yoghurt, icing sugar and vanilla. Spoon into meringue base and top with fruit.
This makes for a great celebration cake! If you’re feeling a little razzy, drizzle with dark chocolate ganache and top with gold stars and/or sparklers!
If you try my pretty pavlova at home, don’t forget to snap and share with #galoobrious