The weather has been amazing this weekend and the best way to end it was with a fruity pavlova on sunday evening in the garden! I love a good pavlova, especially the marshmallowy gooeyness on the inside. Its taken me a few years to perfect this recipe and also learning bits and bobs of the science related bits on the way! Its still not super perfect but its good enough to share. Its super easy and fool proof if you follow the recipe.
Berry Pavlova Recipe
4 Egg whites ( fresh eggs)
1tsp white vinegar
Double Cream- about 500ml
Mixed berry fruit. Some for the coulis and extra to decorate.
GM 4 to pre heat . GM 1 to cook.
Preheat Oven on GM 4
Use a big glass or metal bowl which is clean and grease free. Place egg whites into the bowl and beat.Beat until the eggs have expanded into a big foamy consistency. Add a little of the sugar at a time when whisking.
When the egg mixture is light and fluffy and starting to hold shape of its peaks, ( it is ready when the mixture stays firm and doesn't drop out bowl when its tilted upside down ) add in the cornflour and vinegar and beat to combine. This will result in a glossy mix.
Tip the mixture into a grease papered circle tray, spreading just a little ( not till the edges), keeping the mixture quite high. Make a dip in the middle.
Turn the heat of oven down to GM1 and then place the meringue into the oven . Cook for 1hr and 15mins. When the pavlova is done, switch off the heat and leave in the oven to cool down. This will avoid the meringue from cracking, due to a sudden drop in temperature.
Make a quick coulis with the berries. Blitz a handful of fruit, a little icing sugar and some lime juice. This Coulis can be folded into the whipped cream and topped on to the meringue at stage 8.
10-15mins after switching the oven off, take the meringue out. Peel off the grease proofed paper whilst still warm and then leave on the display plate to cool down. Once the meringue has cooled down its not easy to transfer around due to the marshmallowy bottom of the meringue so initially put it on your serving plate
Whipp up the double cream with a little icing sugar until it is light and can hold peaks. Fold in half the amount of coulis and then spread onto the cooled meringue, decorate with fresh fruit and remaining coulis
Testing Freshness of eggs
Just fill a bowl with cold water and place your eggs in the bowl. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they're very fresh. If they're a few weeks old but still good to eat, they'll stand on one end at the bottom of the bowl. If they float to the surface, they're no longer fresh enough to eat.
Grease free bowl
Use lemon juice and tissue to wipe away and greasy residues that may be on bowl. Do the same to the electric whisk arms
Be careful when whipping the cream. You want it to be light and airy and holding its peak. When its reaches this stage stop whipping on a high speed. Cream can over whip very quickly and will not be at the desired consistency and then there's no going back!
Peeling Greaseproof Paper off
I find this bit really hard as I don't want to break the meringue whilst peeling. You have to be really careful at this stage to keep the marshmallow texture in tact. The best way I find I can achieve this is by holding the meringue upside down in my hands, peeling of the paper slowly and then directly placing the serving plate on top of the meringue with my other hand and THEN turning over together in to an upright position.
The Meringue is my go to dessert. Its super easy to make and not very tedious. I enjoy replacing the berries with a lemon curd and topping with flaked almonds as an alternative flavour. Inspiration from a Nigella Lawson recipe I once saw on her show! It can all be a little bit sweet but very much worth it and is a great summer dessert.
If by any chance your meringue just didn't work, you could also make an Eton Mess! You need all the same bits but you just crumble the meringue and layer with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. More like a deconstructive Berry Pavlova!
Why not give this recipe a try the next time you need a wow dessert! Tweet me your pics if you end up using the recipe!