Berry Medley Pavlova

I love pavlova. I could literally eat it all day and all night. If you aren't familiar with this meringue-esque dessert, pavlova is made up of a crispy and chewy exterior and a light and fluffy marshmallow like interior. Everytime I'm in the process of making a pav, I marvel at the fact that my least favourite part of the egg whips up into a magical cloud.
I already have a pavlova up on my instagram at the moment, and I make them quite regularly over in my household so I'm always trying to mix things up with different flavour combinations. You can find that pav here, which I topped with lemon curd and a passionfruit coulis for a zingy and brighter take on your classic strawberry number.

I wanted to keep this pavlova really fresh and light, so I paired a simple vanilla cream with a medley of berries. Apparently, cherries are not actually berries, but for the sake of this blog post let's all pretend that they are ok? ok hehe. They were in season, and the shops were fit to bursting with gorgeous dark cherries so I just couldn't help myself. Our next door neighbour grows them in his garden, and every year I look forward to him knocking on the door armed with a huge bag of plump red cherries - just before the birds get to them!
The teeny sprigs of mint added an extra layer of sweet freshness to make those berries sing - and I'll get into the recipe before I tell you guys my whole life story! 

serves: 6 (in my house we slice up big!) but maybe 8
freezer friendly: no - but you can freeze egg whites before whipping**

4 egg whites
6-8 tbsp white granulated sugar
1 tsp white vinegar (wine or distilled)
1 tsp cornflour

200ml double cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
berries (optional) think blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, kiwiberries, blueberries - your options are endless!

**egg whites are completely freezable (for a whole year!) which is handy if you have lots left over from other bakes. I reccommend keeping them in an ice cube tray for ease. When ready to use, pop them out and leave in a bowl on the countertop to defrost until room temperature before using as normal.

1. Preheat the oven to 150C or 130C fan and using a pencil, draw around a dinner plate on the back of  a piece of parchment paper which you will use to line your baking tray.
2. In a large grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites with a hand or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks. Make sure that there is no runny egg white left at the bottom! 
3. Now, add your sugar a tablespoon at a time - whisking in between each spoonful to make sure that all the sugar crystals have disappeared. Keep whisking until all your sugar is finished and the meringue is glossy with stiff peaks. To double check that the mixture will hold, I like to test it by lifting the bowl upside down over my dad's head hehe. 
4. Add the teaspoon of cornflour and vinegar and whisk into the meringue mixture until thoroughly combined. 
5. Take a teaspoon of meringue mixture and dab it into each corner of your baking tray - this will act as your glue to stick the parchment paper (right sideup!) to the tray.
6. Gently spoon the meringue into the centre of your circle and using it as a guide, add some more meringue, and more - shape and smooth as you go into a roundish shape and make a little dip in the middle with the back of a spoon: this will hold your cream!
7. Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour.
8. When baked, turn your oven off and crack open the door to let your pavlova cool slowly. I would recommend leaving it overnight to throughly dry out if you can.
9. 30 minutes before serving, stick your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to ensure that they are thoroughly chilled (this helps to whip your cream into airy submission!) and whip cream on high with the vanilla until you're nearly at stiff peak stage.
10. Top your pav with lashings of freshly whipped cream - no worries if its cracked a little, patch with more cream! Sprinkle on your berries and serve x 

P.S. I promise I'll get better at posting on my Instagram page and my blog, I'm just shy! If you don't follow me on Instagram yet, here's my account:
all the love!


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