How To Make A Perfect Pavlova
Servings: 8 people
Crisp on the outside marshmallowy in the middle. Topped with pillowy soft vanilla whipped cream, coulis, fresh fruit, chocolate and edible flowers - this pavlova is perfect in every way.
For the pavlova
- 300 g caster sugar superfine - US
- 150 g egg whites fresh and free-range
Toppings and decoration
- 300 ml double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp fruit coulis
- 250 g Fresh fruit strawberries, blackberries, redcurrants, figs
- 8 Lindt chocolates
- edible flowers
- 1 tbsp icing sugar to dust
To Make The Pavlova Meringue
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/ 180ºC Fan/ Gas 6/ 400º F.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and add the caster sugar, put the tray in the oven for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, measure the egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk to soft peaks using a mixer or handheld electric whisk. Whisk slowly to begin with then increase the speed to medium until soft peaks form – about 5 minutes.By now your sugar will be hot so you can remove it from the oven and add it to the whisked egg whites a spoonful at a time.
Keep whisking until the mixture is thick, glossy and bright white – about 7-9 minutes.
Turn your oven down to 100ºC/80ºC Fan/Gas 1/2/ 225ºF.
Check the mixture is done and all the sugar has dissolved by rubbing some of the mixture between your fingers. If you can feel any grain, continue to whisk for a couple more minutes until it feels completely smooth.
Use a dinner plate to trace a circle on your baking paper then take a teacup, mug or small bowl and trace another circle inside it. Flip the baking paper over (so the tracing doesn't transfer to the meringue) and secure it to the baking tray using a few dots of meringue mixture.
Dot tablespoonfuls of meringue mixture in a wreath shape onto the baking paper. Use the tracing as a guide. Pile the meringue up until you have no mixture left.
Make a well in the centre with the back of a spoon.
Put the baking tray in the oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meringue wreath can be easily lifted away from the baking paper.
Once baked, switch off the oven and leave the door open until the meringue is cool. Don’t be tempted to take it out and remove from the tray too early or it might break!
When the meringue is completely cool, lift it away from the baking paper and transfer it to your serving plate or cake stand.
When you're ready to serve, whip the double cream until it has only just thickened. The cream should be soft and pillowy but not so thin it runs off a spoon. Do the drop test by picking up a spoonful and dropping it back into the bowl. If it plops gently it’s whisked just right.Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract to the whipped cream and fold in gently.
Spread the whipped cream onto the meringue base.
Add coulis using a teaspoon.
Add the fresh fruit and chocolates building up in layers until you reach your desired effect.
Finish with edible flowers and a sprinkling of icing sugar.
Serve immediately - best enjoyed as soon as it's made.
- Read the tips above to achieve the best meringue so that your pavlova turns out perfectly.
- Don't forget to turn your oven down as soon as you take the sugar out.
- It's a good idea to make the pavlova base the day before you're going to serve it, then it will have plenty of time to dry out in the oven and completley cool.
- You could make the pavlova base 2 weeks in advance as long as it's stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool, dry place.
- Don't decorate your pavlova until you' re ready to serve. This dessert is best enjoyed as soon as it's made as eventually, the cream and fruit will make the meringue soggy.
- Leftover pavlova will keep for 2 days in the fridge but bear in mind it might go soggy.
- Pavlova does not freeze well.
Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 646IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg