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Pavlova

Make the pavlova shell on the day when it is to be eaten, as it does not store well unless frozen. Fill it just before serving.

ingredients

3 egg whites
2/3 cup (150 g) 5 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) vinegar
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla essence
2 tsp (10 ml) cornflour
glace cherries and angelica to decorate

for the filling

250 ml (8 fl oz) double cream (heavy cream)
caster sugar (superfine granulated) (see method)
2 peaches, skinned and sliced

method

1. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment.

2. Draw a 20 cm (8 inch) circle on the paper and very lightly grease the greaseproof paper, if used.

3. Set the oven at 150°C (300°F) gas 2.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until very stiff. Continue whisking, gradually adding the sugar until the mixture stands in stiff peaks.

5. Beat in the vinegar, vanilla essence and cornflour.

6. Spread the meringue over the circle, piling it up at the edges to form a rim, or pipe the circle and rim from a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

7. Bake for about 1 hour or until the pavlova is crisp on the outside and has the texture of marshmallow inside. It should be pale coffee in colour.

8. Leave to cool, then carefully remove the paper and put on a large serving plate.

9. Make the filling by whipping the cream in a bowl with caster sugar to taste.

10. Add the sliced peaches and pile into the pavlova shell.

11. Decorate with glace cherries and angelica and serve as soon as possible.

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