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Pavlova

Every year before Christmas I get my girlfriends together for a little Christmas cheer before we all head off to our different parts of the world for some family time. This year I decided to divert away from the dangerous brunch (which usually turns into dinner followed by a very sore head the next day) and be a bit more mature by hosting afternoon tea with bubbles and mulled wine. Growing up, pavlova was always a fixed menu item on special occasions and a definite favourite. I had never tried making one before so what better time than afternoon tea.. This recipe is extremely easy and I can say that it was literally inhaled by my guest in a very short space of time πŸ™‚ I decided to make the pavlova in the shape of a wreath to give it a christmassy feel πŸ™‚

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 475ml whipping cream, whipped
  • Fruit of your choice for the toppings (I used kiwi, raspberries, gooseberries and pomegranate)

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Draw a 23cm (9 in) circle on the parchment and then a smaller circle in the middle to make a doughnut/wreath shape.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornflour.
pavlova
3. Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment. Working from the centre, spread mixture towards the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the centre.
pavlova
4. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
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5. Remove the parchment, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the centre of the meringue with whipped cream, sweetened if desired. Top whipped cream with fruit fruit slices. Dust with icing sugar!
pavlova
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