Pavlova

I’d never made a pavlova before this. Meringues, sure. But never a full-blown, giant disc of marshmallow-y meringue. The risks are just so high. Turn the oven just 10 degrees too hot and your meringue will crack and collapse. Whisk the eggs white at too high a speed, and large air bubble can form which will expand and cause your meringue to collapse while baking. It is not a friendly, forgiving thing to make.

But obviously, here I go thinking that I can definitely do it, and it’ll be fine. I’m competent in the kitchen, I won’t have any issues making meringue.

Well, maybe I wouldn’t have if I’d decided to make mini meringue nests like my original plan. But when I decided to make a large pavlova instead, well… things could have gone better.

Don’t get me wrong, this pavlova tasted amazing and it baked well. But it did crack and collapse in some places. I think it’s partly to do with the fact that my oven does vary in temperature, and the oven thermometre I currently have is broken. I did everything correctly, I didn’t open the oven door, I turned it off and let the meringue cool (along with the oven) overnight. But, it still cracked in places.

So this is me letting you know that pavlova meringues are hard. Want to know the best part though? Cover it in cream and fruit, and nobody will know!

I mean, this meringue was covered in a mango cream, then topped with passion fruit and berries. And it was a crowd-pleaser. Did I mention I took this to the New Year’s Eve party that a couple of my friends hosted? Everyone really enjoyed it, which (as I’ve said before) is all I really want out of this food blog anyway: for people to enjoy my cooking.

Ingredients

6 large egg whites (reserve the yolks for something else)
300 grams caster sugar
125 ml mango syrup
400 ml double cream
passion fruit
raspberries
blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Slowly whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they start to foam.
  3. Increase the speed of the electric whisk slightly and continue beating the egg whites until the start to form soft peaks.
  4. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat on a medium-high speed, making sure the sugar is well incorporated before adding the next tablespoon.
  5. Continue until all of the sugar has been added, and you have glossy meringue that makes peaks and doesn’t move when you tip the bowl upside down.
  6. Scoop the meringue mixture onto the baking tray, forming it into a large disc shape. Smooth it out if you like, or swoop the spoon around to make fancy patterns.
  7. Bake in the oven for 90 minutes. Then turn off the oven. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Allow to cool overnight.
  8. When meringue is completely cool, remove from the oven.
  9. In a bowl, whisk together the cream and mango syrup, until the cream is thick. Spoon the cream over the meringue, spreading it out to cover the entire disc.
  10. Cut open the passion fruit, and scoop the seeds onto the cream. Decorate with the berries.

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