Monday, 15 August 2011

Quick and Easy Pavlova

Pavlova is a small slice of heaven, I like mine with clouds of softly whipped cream, topped with dark chocolate curls. However it is also perfect topped with summer berries or stewed winter fruits. You have the basic recipe here,what you decide to do after that is up to you.
If you prefer individual servings, break up the meringue, fold into softly whipped cream and summer fruits, spoon into a  large wine glass and served as Eton Mess...Enjoy!

Serves 6-8

3 Egg whites
175g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Cocoa powder (Optional)  (I use Cadbury's Fair Trade Cocoa)

Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/ Gas Mark 2. Drawn a circle 23cm in diameter on the back of a large piece of parchment or baking paper (I use my dinner plates for this job).

Flip the paper over and use it to line a large baking tray. Whisk the egg whites (in a spotlessly clean bowl, otherwise they egg whites won't whip to a stiff peak) in a large bowl, with an electric mixer until reaches the stiff peak stage.

Combine the sugar and cocoa (if using) together, removing any lumps from the cocoa.

Add the sugar mixture a tablespoon at a time. Mix thoroughly before adding the next spoon full, the mixture will become thick and glossy.

Spoon the chocolate meringue (yep, it's a meringue, adding the cream and fruit makes it a pavlova) onto the baking tray and spread right out the edges of your circle. Smooth the centre leaving a slight rise at the edge. This will keep the cream from spilling over the edges!

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, the meringue will rise when cooked, but will crack as it cools.

Cool slightly on the baking tray, very gently gently remove to a cooling rack. When completely cooled, transfer to a serving plate.

Top with whipped cream, fresh fruit, stew winter fruit or with chocolate curls.The undecorated meringue can be stored in an airtight container for weeks and weeks, there to use when you need them, easy!

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