1 )Don't over whip your egg whites or they can collapse, meaning you have beaten the air out of the egg whites which you just spent time on whipping into the egg white to create the airy snowy texture
2) For a crisp shell, meringues need a short amount of time at high heat, followed by a longer period of slow reduced heat to set the marshmallow inside the meringue or pavlova.
3) Experiment with your oven, if it doesn't reduce in temperature evenly or quickly as the pavlova recipes requires, bake your pavlova at a cooler temperature of 120C for 1 1/2 hours. Pre heat the oven to 120C.
4) You have overcooked your meringue or pavlova if syrupy droplets appear on the surface. You have undercooked your meringue or pavlova if it weeps syrup.
5) If cracks appear on the sides, that's okay. Cover them cream if you find them unappealing to your overall presentation.
6) It is normal for your pavlova to sink a little while cooling- just cover it with cream, a baker's friend which glues together crumbled cakes and hides a multitude of sins!
7) Practise, practise, practise. I remember my first pavlova was very brown and flat, more like wholemeal in colour than light chocolate, and yes I tried to say it was chocolate flavoured to hide my failure- I was 14 years old at the time.
8) I prefer to bake pavlova at night, this way it can stay in the oven over night to ensure it's completely cool. You also don't want kitchen intruders running and jumping around your oven during baking which can cause your cake to fall- you know who I mean!
9) Egg whites must be grease free in order for them to whip effectively to stiff peaks. This means absolutely no egg yolk can be in your egg white, even if a small amount has fallen in, you'll have to ditch it and make omelettes! I usually separate each egg in a separate bowl to make sure they are fresh, and so that I don't have to make omelettes. I also find that cold egg whites whip better and faster, just my observation.
10) If you want a soft melt in the mouth marshmallow centre, bake the pavlova a day in advance and store in the fridge in a plastic sealed container or tin. Decorate the next day and follow recipe as instructed.
Hope this hints helped you! Let me know in the comments