I love love love Pavlova and any sort of meringue, this is something that I inherited from my mother who along with me is the number 1 fan of the dish.
Pavlova was created in either Australia or New Zealand (sources disagree) in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.
3 egg whites
6oz white sugar
2 tbs Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Thick Double Cream
Fruit to decorate – Berries, Tropical, Nectarines – to taste
Preheat oven to GM2/150C/300F
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and in peaks, slowly spoon in the sugar and cocoa and vinegar whisking all the time. When mixture is glossy and standing in peaks – this will take about 5 to 10 minutes, turn out onto a sheet of parchment on a flat baking tray.
With the spoon shape into a circle about 6” across and build the sides up to hold the cream and fillings.
Place in the preheated oven and immediately turn down to GM1/140C/275F.
Depending on the oven, weather, size of egg the Pavlova will take between 40mins to an hour to cook – when done it will be crisp and hard when tapped, but still soft in the middle. Turn the oven off and leave the Pavlova in it to cool. I usually leave it overnight.
Up to an hour before serving, peel the Pavlova from the baking parchment, fill with whipped cream and top with your choice of fruit. A non filled Pavlova will keep for several days in an air-tight tin.
A mix of cream and chestnut puree topped with toasted nuts makes for an indulgent alternative filling.
Some recipes include a spoon of cornflower as well as the vinegar I have tried all combinations and personally do not think that it makes any difference to the finished pudding, the balsamic is included here for colour and flavour. For a non chocolate Pavlova I leave it out.
The left over egg yolks can be used for a Spanish omelette or tortilla; or freeze egg whites when you are using yolks in a recipe. They freeze well, but need to be at room temperature to whisk.
Read more about how easy making pavlova is here.