We all adore a pavlova cake...the crisp meringue outer shell encased by a soft, sweet, melt in your mouth, mallow filling. The extreme sweetness of this dessert is balanced with an inch thick (2cm) layer of pineapple whipped cream. The thickness of the cream pillows the luscious array of fruits from sinking into the pavlova. The tartness of strawberries and kiwifruit, with the mild sweetness of canned peaches and a drizzle of passionfruit, creates a visual and mouth watering masterpiece. I like to pipe the cream around the edges to really fancy it up. Here is my Best Pavlova recipe, which I hope you'll enjoy!
Recipe for Pavlova (serves 6-8)
4 egg whites (cold)
pinch of salt
250g castor sugar (vanilla infused castor sugar)
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or white vinegar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla
1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Using a piece of baking paper, draw an 18-20cm diameter circle on it. Place the drawn side of the baking paper face down on your baking tray. To ensure the pavlova comes off the paper easily, I like to lightly spray it with vegetable oil and lightly dust it with a teaspoon of cornflour, shake off any excess flour.
2) I prefer to use a stainless steel bowl that is very clean and dry- remember that any grease or egg yolk for the separation of eggs will ruin your meringue. Beat the egg whites with a whisk (beaters or whisk beater) and salt until soft satin peaks form.
3) Continue beating as you add a third of the castor sugar in at a time, beating for half a minute or so between each addition, until the meringue is stiff, shiny and holds its shape when you stop the beater or whisk. Sift on the cornflour, add vinegar and vanilla and fold in lightly with a clean plastic spatula.
4) Mound the pavlova mixture onto the lined tray within the circle, creating a hill shape. Scoop up the sides to create an even rounded shape, and take a little scoop from the middle or make a little well shape to make a space for the fruits and cream to sit well once baked.
5) Place tray into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150C, baking it for 25 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 120C, baking for a further 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova in it to cool completely.
If you'd like some ideas about how to decorate this pavolva, check the post Recipe for decorating Pavlova cakes or if you'd like some more help with baking a pavlova cake successfully, read my 10 TOP TIPS for baking Successful Pavlova Cake.
Enjoy, and Happy Baking!