Have you ever tried homemade pavlova? Oh em gee, you are in for a summertime treat my friend. I made this particular pavlova for my birthday BBQ and it went down a storm. I mean, I barely got a look in on it. So make it, soon! You can swap the fruits for any variety or combination you prefer. Crunchy meringue on the outside, soft marshmallow on the inside – what more could you want?
- 450g caster sugar
- 8 free-range egg whites
- 3 tsp white wine vinegar
- 4 tsp corn flour
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 650ml double cream
- 25g icing sugar
- 200g raspberries, macerated (smushed)
- 200g strawberries, macerated (smushed)
- Prepare a large flat baking tin, and cover with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
- In a large, very clean bowl, whisk your egg whites with a hand or stand mixer until they reach the soft peak stage - foamy and starting to hold their shape.
- At this point, start to add the sugar slowly, beating all the time. The egg whites should become shiny, and will soon reach the stiff peak phase - you will know when this happens as the mixture will hold its shape if you remove the whisk.
- Scoop the mixture onto the middle of the parchment paper, and use a palette knife or wooden spoon to form it into a round with steep sides and a flat top. Pop into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature to 120C/250F/half a gas mark. Cook for an hour, then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before topping.
- To decorate, whip your double cream with 25g icing sugar until its reasonably thick (soft peaks) - this will take a few minutes with a hand/stand mixer.
- Once your pavlova is cooled, turn it upside down onto a serving platter (we didn't have one large enough so it was served on a large round baking tray!) and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Spread the cream and berries on top, and serve.
- If you don't want to have a whole lot of yolks on your hands, use Two Chicks egg whites, which contain 15 liquid egg whites in a carton - they're stocked in Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
- Vanilla bean paste is available from most supermarkets and is well worth getting - it gives a lovely vanilla flavour and vanilla bean effect.
I have my eye on either a capuccino pavlova or a chocolate pavlova next!