I have had many failed attempts at baking a pavlova. They’ve always lacked volume and texture, and the sugar bled out on numerous occasions.
I book-marked Donna Hay’s recipe for pavlova after watching Masterchef Australia season 2 contestants’ attempts at baking the perfect pavlova using her recipe. I set myself the task of baking a pav this morning. I tried to remember the hints and tips I picked up watching the pav episode on masterchef. Here is the recipe for ease of reference.
- 150g egg whites (I used 5 medium-sized eggs)
- 220g castor sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tsp white vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (not in original recipe)
- 200g double cream, whipped
- a punnet of strawberries, hulled
- a handful of blueberries
- Pre-heat the oven at 150 degrees celsius
- In a stainless steel bowl, whisk in the egg whites using an electric beater until soft peaks form (this took me around 5 minutes)
- Add in 2 spoonfuls of sugar, whisk for 2 to 3 minutes, check if the mixture is grainy. If it is, continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Repeat until all the sugar has been whisked in. This could take up to 15 minutes
- Whisk in the cornflour, vanilla and vinegar until combined (about a minute)
- Use the base of an 8″ spring form pan to draw a circle on a baking paper
- Flip the paper over (so that the ink side is on the bottom) and place it on a baking tray
- Fill the circle with the meringue mixture, which should have a height of at least 2 inches
- Reduce the heat in the oven to 120 degrees celsius and place the baking tray in the middle of the oven
- Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the meringue to cool down for at least 1 hour
- Remove the baking tray from the oven. Gently slide a palette knife underneath the meringue to loosen it from the baking paper and transfer to a plate
- Just before serving, top the meringue with cream, strawberries and blueberries
The pav did crack slightly in places but held its shape nicely. The moment of truth came when I cut out a slice of pavlova.
Once I got past the crunchy shell, the insides were gooey and marshmallow-ey. I called Hubby over for a taste test. Hubby’s Auntie Sally makes the best pavlova he has ever tasted so I knew I had big pavlova shoes to fill.
Thankfully Hubby declared the pav a success, and between us, we’ve demolished 3/4 of it. It is now almost 1 a.m. and we’re both on a sugar high. It was definitely worth it.