I was talking about pavlovas with a friend, who told me that her mother used to shape the raw mix so that there was a hollow in it and you didn’t end up with that great amount of squidgy mixture in the middle, but instead get more crispy outer shell. So I tried cooking a pav in a ring tin, and it worked well. You can decorate it anyway you like, pile up the middle with chopped summer fruits perhaps? I had stawberries and cream handy, so that is what I used. If you wanted to make a traditional pavlova, I would add more to the mixture, as this would be a bit small if it didn’t have a big hole in the middle!
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp vinegar
3 drops extra vanilla
1/2 punnet of strawberries
Preheat the oven to a low 100 celcius for a fanforced oven, 100 if not fanforced.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, then slowly add in the sugar, continuing to beat the egg whites. Fold in cornflour, then add vanilla and vinegar slowly. Spoon into a ring pan and bake in oven until firm, approximately 1 hour, depending on your oven.
Conventional wisdom says that when the pavlova is cooked, if you turn off the oven and open the door, leaving the pav inside to cool very slowly, it won’t crack, but mine did anyway. Once it is cool, you can either use it immediately, or put in an airtight container and it should keep for a few days.
When ready to use, beat the cream with the vanilla until firm, then decorate the middle of the pav with cream and berries.
You will need a cake slice to lift your cut portion onto your plate as there is a lot of cream to deal with! (not the worst problem to have).