Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Perfect Pavlova

Pavlova is one of my favourite desserts not only because it was named after a Russian ballet dancer but because it is just one of those amazingly simple desserts that will, without fail, impress anyone! Despite it’s simplicity, there are a few tips and tricks to remember that will set you on the road to perfection. Always use egg whites at room temperature as they whip higher and fluffier than cold eggs, and while you’re at it make sure they’re fresh and don’t contain any bits of yolk. It’s very important not to get any grease (or egg yolk) on your utensils or in your egg whites as this will prevent the whites from whipping. I like my pavlova marshmallowy and soft in the centre, but if you prefer yours crisp then by all means, bake it a little longer than I’ve indicated below. Play around with flavours – a sprinkle of rose water into the whipped cream, a drizzle of liqueur or a scattering of toasted nuts or chocolate curls it can be as fancy or as simple as your heart desires. Decadent with chocolate mousse and ice cream or diet-friendly with yoghurt and berries, this dessert is sure to make your taste buds dance with joy. 

(serves 8)

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup castor sugar
3t corn flour
1t white vinegar
whipped cream and fresh berries, to serve

Preheat oven to 150C. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating well until the mixture is glossy. Sift the corn flour over, add the vinegar and fold through. Spoon the meringue onto a lined baking tray. Place in the oven and reduce the heat to 120C.
Bake for 1 hour or until the outside is crisp and the inside is marshmallowy.
To serve, top with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

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