This melt-in-the-mouth pavlova has a soft, marshmallowy centre and a thin, crisp and fragile outer shell. Serve it topped with a generous amount of whipped cream and fruit. We like to use passionfruit and soft fruits such as berries, mango, kiwifruit and cherries.
Start this recipe at least 3 1/2 hours, and up to one day, before serving time. Measure out the cream of tartar and caster sugar before you start beating the egg whites so you don't have to stop beating to do this. For more information on separating eggs, see the tips at the bottom of the recipe.
There is no substitute for cream of tartar in this recipe.
We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
3/4 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon) cream of tartar
200g (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) caster sugar
About 400ml (1 2/3 cups) thickened cream, whipped
Fruit of your choice
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced).
Using a pencil, draw a 20cm diameter circle on a sheet of non-stick baking paper. We trace around the inside of a 20cm diameter springform pan (base removed).
Place paper, pencil side down (so the pencil doesn't touch the pavlova), on a large baking tray. If your baking tray is a dark colour and you find it difficult to see the pencil line, you can place the baking paper on a light-coloured surface to make the line easier to see. Once you've spread the pavlova onto the paper, transfer it to the baking tray.
To make the pavlova, you'll need electric hand-held beaters and a large bowl, or an electric mixer with a large bowl. Ensure that the beaters and bowl are very clean as oils can prevent egg whites from whipping properly.
As soon as you begin to beat the egg whites, add the cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites on high speed just until they reach the following stage: when the beaters are lifted out of the egg white mixture, the mixture forms and holds a peak that doesn't flop over at the tip. It will probably take 1-2 minutes for your egg white mixture to reach this stage. © exclusivelyfood.com.au
Sprinkle one tablespoon of the sugar over the egg white mixture. Continue beating, and add one tablespoon of sugar about every 30 seconds.
Once all of the sugar has been added, continue to beat the mixture for 2 minutes. The mixture should be very thick and glossy.
Pile the mixture inside the circle on the baking paper. Smooth the mixture out to form a cake shape, keeping to the pencil line.
Place the pavlova in the middle of the preheated oven, and then immediately reduce the heat to 100 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Bake for 1 hour. The pavlova will probably crack and sink during baking.
When the pavlova has finished baking, turn the oven off but leave the pavlova in the oven. Prop the oven door open a couple of centimetres (we use a folded tea towel). Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven for 2 hours.
Remove the pavlova from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to an airtight container until required. When ready to serve, slide pavlova off baking paper onto a serving plate, top with whipped cream and fruit and serve immediately.
It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold. We separate eggs straight from the refrigerator then leave the whites to come to room temperature.
Ensure that no egg yolk gets into the egg white. If some egg yolk does get into the white, don't attempt to scoop it out: use the egg for another purpose. The presence of even a tiny amount of yolk can prevent the egg whites from whipping properly.
We crack an egg over a small bowl to collect the white, and then transfer the white into the mixing bowl before repeating with the next egg. This way, if you accidentally break a yolk, or if one of the eggs is bad, you won't spoil more than one egg white.
If you don't have an egg separator, you can use your hand. Use your fingers to catch the yolk while the white passes between your fingers into the bowl below. © www.exclusivelyfood.com.au