‘Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.’
This is a stunning dessert for Christmas Day.
It is absolutely delicious.
8 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt
250 g castor sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
few drops of pure vanilla
1¼ cups cream, firmly whipped
The first tip: You will need to allow your wreath to cool completely in the oven (5-6 hours ideally) so you need to plan ahead (it is impossible to achieve that delicious soft centre and a crunchy outside if it isn’t allowed to cool in the oven).
The second tip: Never, ever, open the door once it’s cooking. And even once it’s finished cooking, wait until the oven door is stone cold before you open it. That trick alone, prevents your pavlova from collapsing and or cracking.
And the most important tip; Always, always, use room temperature eggs.
Okay, here we go:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 30 cm circle on the paper.
Beat egg whites and salt until satiny peaks form.
Beat in sugar, a third at a time, until meringue is stiff and shiny.
Ensure that all of the sugar has been dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and forefinger. If it is smooth it is ready, if it is still grainy keep beating until it is smooth.
Sprinkle over cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and fold in lightly.
Spoon onto paper-lined baking tray following the circle, creating blobs with peaks and spikes on the top and sides.
Have your timer ready.
Place your beautiful wreath in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 150°C and cook for 30 minutes.
Reduce further to 120°C and cook for 45 minutes.
Turn off the oven, do not open the door, and leave the pavlova in it to cool completely. The oven door must be cool to the touch before you open it!
Place pavlova onto a platter, pile on cream and arrange fruit of your choice.
For this Pavlova I wanted deep, dark red tones contrasted with a lovely green so I used cherries, blackberries, plums, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint.
Your family will adore this dessert.
Lots of love,