This is a pudding with the W.O.W factor.
Pavlova could not be easier to make, yet it never fails to impress. Be prepared for lots of ‘oohs and aaahs’ when you bring it to the table. Perfect for a special occasion. Or any occasion. As the name suggests, this is a palava free pavlova….now try saying that in an Australian accent after a glass of wine or two.
I don’t believe meringue making needs anything other than egg whites and sugar. I think chefs have started to add all sorts of things in order to put their own stamp on the recipe. But in my humble opinion don’t overcomplicate things
This will serve 14 people – but I have found even when I make it for 8 it all gets gobbled.
Feel free to play around with the toppings, my mum just did a chocolate, honey and fig one which sounds amazing and definitely one to try!
- 8 egg whites (I have started buying egg whites from the supermarket - you will find them next to the milk and they are very useful!)
- 500g caster sugar
- 600ml creme fraiche
- handful of raspberries
- handful of strawberries, halved
- Or you could use thawed frozen berries which would also work beautifully
- handful of pomegranate seeds
- sprinkle of icing sugar
- Berry Coulis
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Take a large baking tray and turn it upside down - so that you don't have to lift the pavlova out at the end, you can just slide it instead...much easier.
- Take a piece of baking parchment/greaseproof paper and draw a rough circle measuring 10inch (25cm). I use a cake pan to draw around, but you could easily free style it. Go on. Be a devil.
- Turn the baking parchment upside down so that your meringue won't touch the ink.
- Now, in a VERY clean bowl whisk your egg whites. I use a freestanding whisk to do this, but you could use a handheld electric whisk. Or shock, horror, you could use your elbow grease.
- Either way, whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- Now, add the sugar the sugar one tablespoon at a time and keep whisking
- If you add the sugar too quickly, your meringue will be grainy. If this happens you can cook it anyway, it will still be delish, I promise.
- By the time all the sugar has been incorporated the meringue will be in stiff peaks and the mixture will be beautiful and shiny. It will look pearly and lovely. This is the stage where if you held it over your head it wouldn't fall out. If you want to get revenge on someone you could do this test on them at the previous stage and they will get an egg white shower. Only do this if you want to laugh a lot. And you have egg whites to spare.
- Now, spoon the mixture onto the circle you drew and use a spatula to smooth the top and the sides
- Looking pretty prodigious hey?
- Pop it in the oven and IMMEDIATELY turn the heat down to 120C/250f/GAS1/2
- Cook for 1 hour and then turn off the oven but leave the door shut. Don't peep and let the pavlova cool completely.
- When you are ready to serve the pavlova, slide a knife underneath it to loosen it and then slide a plate underneath. There is knack to this, practice makes perfect. Don't panic if the meringue crumbles a little, you are going to smother it in cream and berries and no one will notice!
- Spoon your creme fraiche onto the meringue and decorate with the berries, drizzle with coulis. Dressed to impress.
You will want to make sure you guzzle every last mouthful….
No seriously…I mean every last last drop..
Perfect for a sunny day or a winter’s day….or any day.
Play around with the toppings, whipped cream or creme fraiche. Lemon or passionfruit curd. Stewed apples with butterscotch sauce. Chocolate or fruit. The possibilities are endless!
Anna Pavlova said that “to tend unfailingly, unflinchingly towards a goal, is the secret to success”. As a woman who had a pudding named after her (my number one goal in life), I’m going to listen to what she has to say.