If I inherited a sweet tooth from anyone, my mum would definitely be the person to blame. While she has an unbridled passion for food in general (especially of the spicy variety), for as long as I can remember she has been making all kinds of cakes and desserts. If only her arsenal of culinary skills was something that could also be passed down, but I digress!
Anyway, if you've been living under a rock and have never heard of pavlova I'll give you the lowdown! It's basically a decadent meringue topped off with whipped cream and fruits, and it's incredible. While I'm quite sure you can buy baking kits for them here in Australia, my mum seems to have perfected the recipe after years of ending up with depressingly hollow meringue shells. I've never come across a person who can resist it, so keep reading for the recipe:
Take note - the meringue has to stand up like this by itself! It may take a lot of work to get to this point, but it's worth it.
Berry pavlova recipe (makes one pavlova):
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon corn flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 150°C (170°C fan-forced) and line a tray with baking paper.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff, then add half the sugar whilst continuing to beat. Mix in the rest of the corn flour, vinegar, and cream of tartar.
3. Gradually add the rest of the sugar whilst beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. The meringue should form stiff peaks, and not sink into the rest of the mixture.
5. Spread the meringue onto the baking tray with a spatula, and shift it until it's the shape you want (I doubled the recipe, so two meringues are pictured here).
6. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 90-100°C and continue to bake for 1 hour.
7. Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven. Whip cream and defrost berries if necessary.
8. Spread as much cream and berries as you want on your pavlova! If you don't like berries, this would also work with any other type of fruit.
So there you have it! Admittedly it's not the neatest looking dessert, but I can vouch for the fact that the marshmallowy centre is to die for. It's also surprisingly simple, considering that I'm not great at baking and even forgot to include the vinegar and cream of tartar this time (oops)! Thankfully it still turned out well, but maybe if you add them your pavlova will be able to heal unicorns or something like that. Anyway, if you happen to give this a try let me know!