Sunday, 15 August 2010

Summer berry pavlova

Meringue is one of those things I have never managed to make. Something that I'd built up in my head to a catastrophe in the making ! It's up there with my fear of cooking shellfish (which I have now managed to over come).

Anyway I decided to tackle this fear headlong and of all the times I chose to do this it was when we had friends coming over for dinner. So never one to take the easy route, off I went.

I chose the recipe from Nigella's How to Eat book as I had been assured it was fool proof. What I was after was the perfect meringue. Nice and crispy on the outside but also lovely and squidgy on the inside. I had been assured that I needed a scrupulously clean bowl, fresh eggs and a good beater and it worked. I ended up with a MONSTER pavlova which was met with lots of "mmmmm"s and plenty of clean plates. RESULT !!

serves approx 8 - very approximately !!

250g golden caster sugar
pinch salt
4 egg whites
2tsp cornflour
1tsp white wine vinegar
few drops of vanilla extract

For the filling

Lots of double cream - I can't be exact but I used approx 2/3 of a 600ml pot of cream
Box of Waitrose frozen summer berry mix

Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks
Beat in the sugar a 1/3 at a time
Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and gently fold in
Put the meringue mix onto a tray lined with non-stick tray liner or greaseproof paper and make to approx 20cm diameter
Put into an oven pre-heated to 180C and turn down immediately to 140C
Cook for 1 1/4 hours then turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven overnight

Remove from oven and get decorating. I whipped the cream and then sprinkled over the berries, stages as below.


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