Pavlova Bakeoff

This weekend, Sunday 7 April at 9.30am Australian Eastern Standard Time (7pm Saturday night in Dallas), we are having a pavlova bakeoff with our friend @Marblesays who lives in America.  Anyone is welcome to join in the commentary on twitter.  For those who wish to join in, let us know so we can include you.

Here is the recipe that our staff uses:

Ingredients:

4 egg whites at room temperature (very important that they are not cold)

250 g caster sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Few drops of pure vanilla extract (don’t use vanilla paste)

300 ml runny or whipping cream (whipped until firm)

Fruit for topping (I usually use 1 mango, 1 banana and 4 passionfruit but you can use strawberries or raspberries instead of mango if not in season.  Passionfruit makes it amazing so try and use that)

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a tray with baking paper (I use a pizza tray because it is already round and easier to get the shape correct).

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until peaks form (use an electric beater, preferably one on a stand because this takes a little while) but not too firm – should be firm enough to hold the shape of the peaks.  Start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time.  Keep beating until the meringue is shiny and stiff (tip:  when you feel the mixture between two fingers, you shouldn’t feel any sugar.  If you do, keep beating until you don’t). Sprinkle over the cornflour while still beating, then the vinegar and vanilla.

Mound the mixture on the baking paper so that it is about 20cm in diameter.  Smooth the top and sides with a spatula.  Place in the oven.  IMMEDIATELY reduce the heat to 150 degrees Celsius and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova to cool completely (don’t disturb it).

It should be dry and crispy on the outside (it may crack but this is OK – in fact completely normal) and marshmallowy on the inside.  If syrup leaks out of it, you haven’t completely beaten in the sugar and it may be chewy instead of crispy and marshmallowy.

You can leave the pavlova in the fridge for a couple of days until you are ready to serve.  Don’t decorate until you are ready to serve (I make a ceremony out of it and do it at the table).  Put the pavlova on a serving platter (be careful peeling the paper off as the pavlova is fragile).  Pile on the cream (I sweeten my cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar and some more vanilla) and put lots of fruit on the top.

Serve carefully and enjoy!!

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