Sunday, 8 July 2012


If I have a signature dish, this is it. I can't think of another dessert that looks quite as elegant. Piled high with cream and strawberries it never fails to look impressive. I do find them easy to do, and yesterday I made a couple to take to a friends birthday party. The trick is to make them early and leave them to cool completely in the oven. This will avoid cracking to a certain extent. The thing is it doesn't matter if it does crack a little, the topping and fruit can easliy disguise this.

Serve 6-8
3 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
275 ml double or whipping cream
350g of fruit of your choice
A little icing sugar
Heat the oven to 150C.
Place the egg whites in a large clean bowl and have the sugar measured and ready. Now whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and you can turn the bowl upside down without them sliding out (it's very important, though, not to over-whisk the egg whites because, if you do, they will start to collapse).
When they're ready, start to whisk in the sugar, approximately approx 25 g at a time, whisking after each addition until all the sugar is in. Now take a metal tablespoon and spoon the meringue mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, forming a circle about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
Then spoon round blobs next to each other so that they join up to form a circle all around the edge. Now, using the tip of a skewer, make little swirls in the meringue all round the edge, lifting the skewer up sharply each time to leave tiny peaks. Now place the baking sheet in the oven, then immediately turn down the heat to 140°C and leave it to cook for 1 hour.
Then turn the heat right off but leave the Pavlova inside the oven until it's completely cold. An idea would be to make a Pavlova in the evening and leave it in the turned-off oven overnight to dry out. To serve the Pavlova, lift it from the baking sheet, peel off the paper and place it on a serving dish. Then just before serving, spread the whipped cream on top, arrange the fruit on top of the cream and dust with a little sifted icing sugar. Serve cut into wedges.

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