When it comes to putting the finishing touches to your Christmas Day, we all know that nothing quite beats a Pavlova.
There’s been a long running debate as to whether or not the Pavlova hails from our own shores or that of our Antipodean rivals’ – regardless of the historical data collected by these ‘researchers’, we can at least be at peace knowing that there’s nothing that can truly beat a mouth-watering mound of an Australian Pavlova.
Despite the pavlova’s simple construction, this pud can be deceptively tricky to assemble. To aid you in your efforts this Christmas we’ve collected a fool-proof recipe (along with some top-class tips courtesy of GoodFood.com) to ensure that your traditional Australian Pavlova is a picture perfect success, rather than a crumbling monstrosity.
Traditional Aussie Pavlova
You will need:
- 6 egg whites
- 314g caster sugar
- 3 teaspoons cornflour
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 375ml thickened cream
- 2 handfuls of berries (raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate or blueberries)
- Bunch of fresh rosemary
First, preheat your oven to 150 degrees and line your baking tray with greaseproof paper. Draw out a 20cm disc on it and flip it over.
Beat your egg whites in a glass or metal bowl until peaks begin to form, then slowly add your sugar until the mixture becomes thick and glossy.
Beat in your cornflour, vanilla essence and vinegar – then spoon onto your disc of paper, using a flat knife to shape it to your liking.
Bake in your hot oven for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 110 degrees. Bake for a further hour until your meringue is dry and crisp.
Let your cooked meringue cool slowly by leaving your oven door ajar, instead of taking it straight out, which could lead to a catastrophic collapse.
Whilst your pav cools, whip up your cream until firm peaks appear, then spread it over your cool pavlova and top with your fresh fruit. Finish with a few sprigs of rosemary.
- If you’re feeling brave you can lift it over your head to test the stiffness – strong, stiff peaks are the aim of the game.
- Pre-heating your oven higher than needed will help your pav set in place, just make sure you remember to reduce the heat for the remainder of the cooking time.
- Make sure your eggs are as fresh as possible, so you can get the most rigidity from your peaks.
- Use a glass or metal bowl to whip up your peaks, plastic bowls retain fat which won’t help your whipping. Wash it lightly with vinegar beforehand to help it along.
- Separate your eggs with the utmost care, the slightest presence of yolk can seriously hamper your end product.
- Bake your pavlova the day before so you can finish it with freshly whipped cream and fruit right when you need it.