Pavlova is one of my favourtie desserts, it was even when I wasn’t a fan of fruity desserts (which is definitely no longer the case); it is also a favourite of many people I know including my dad, one of James’ sisters and his mum. There was no question of what to bake for James’ sister’s birthday in that case, which happened whilst we were staying up in Scotland with them. It was a week and a half of chilling out, eating, shopping, seeing friends and family and it was scrumptious.
I’ve been wanting to up my meringue game recently, having only stuck with egg whites and sugar in the past but having seen recipes with cornflour and white wine vinegar, I was eager to try out these tips. I decided to tweak the recipe I’d found by making the middle meringue a chocolate meringue. One meringue stuck slightly (I used baking paper, not greaseproof) and just wasn’t very pretty but thankfully that was the bottom layer! Phew.
- 6 egg whites, at room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- 350 g of caster sugar
- 2 tsp of cornflour
- 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 600 ml of double cream
- 1 punnet of strawberries, at room temperature
- 1 punnet of raspberries, at room temperature
- Chocolate shavings to decorate, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- On 3 separate baking tray sized sheets of greaseproof paper draw 20 cm circles on two of the sheets and a 16 cm circle on the other. Place each sheet on a baking tray.
- Whisk the egg whites and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form.
- Whisk in the sugar and keep whisking until the egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks.
- Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
- Spoon one third of the mixture into a separate bowl and whisk the 1 tbsp of cocoa into into.
- Place half of the remaining white meringue mixture onto one of the 20 cm circles and spread evenly over the circle.
- Place the chocolate meringue mixture onto the other 20 cm circle and spread evenly over the circle.
- Place half of the remaining white mixture onto the 16 cm circle and spread out evenly. Pipe the now remaining half of the white meringue mixture around the edges of the circle in small peaks, to make a crown shape.
- Lower the oven temperature to 140°C and place the meringues in the oven for 1 hr – 1 hr 15 mins, rotate them periodically if your oven cooks unevenly. They should be crisp outside but soft inside, I don’t know how you tell if they are soft inside except for sticking something in one, which isn’t advised. I just looked for a nice crisp outside but went for the 1 hr 15 mins option.
- Switch off the oven and leave the meringues in there to cool down.
- Once your meringues are cool, whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks.
- Place the large white meringue onto your serving platter which should ideally be flat.
- Place a generous third of the whipped cream onto the meringue and spread it out evenly, out to the edges. Top with 3/4 of the strawberries. Make sure the fruit goes out to the edges.
- Place the chocolate meringue on top of the strawberries and spread a generous half of the remaining cream on top of the meringue, top with 3/4 of the raspberries.
- Place the smaller meringue on top of the raspberries and top with the remaining cream, berries and chocolate shavings.
- Serve and enjoy.