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a berry good pavlova

Here’s a recipe for a berry pavlova that you won’t want to miss — a berry good pavlova.
Cushiony stiff peaks of sweet white goodness. A tart and boastful berry jubilee. All cocooned and coddled together with whipped cream. Super simple, super delicious.

It was my mom’s birthday this week. And as I’m here in Beijing visiting for the week, I got to celebrate my mamma’s birthday with her, my dad, my husband, and their cat, Blu. 

We made a heavenly pavlova together and toasted with a bubbly aperol spritz at dinner to celebrate her. As well as going to one of her favourite places on earth to eat – the Green T. House – for lunch (which is a work of art of a sensorial experience in and of itself).

So the whole day was a celebration. 

If you’ve never heard of pavlova before, it’s a meringue base filled with cream and fruit.
To spice this one up, and give it a little extra body, I’ve added an extra disc of meringue at the very bottom that everything sits upon. You can adorn this with fruits of your own liking, though as meringue is particularly sweet, it’s best to go with tangy and tart fruits as opposed to really sweet fruits to nicely complement the flavours.

Ingredients: 

  • 6 egg whites
  • 450g white sugar
  • 30g corn starch
  • 20g lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 L heavy cream
  • 5-6 tbsp icing sugar
  • a handful of strawberries
  • a handful of raspberries
  • a handful of blackberries
  • a few blueberries

Directions:

For the Meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C. Prepare two oven trays lined with baking paper.
  2. Make the meringue: Carefully separate your egg whites from the yolks, placing the egg whites in a big bowl. Keep the yolks in a separate container in the fridge to use for another day. Make sure to not break the yolks – we don’t want any yolk mixing with the whites or this could compromise your meringue.
  3. Begin beating the egg whites on medium to high speed in a big bowl using an handheld mixer. Continue until the egg white transforms from liquid to fluffy – it should be white and opaque in colour. Add a pinch of salt during this process. The salt helps the egg white not return to liquid state.
  4. Gradually begin adding the white sugar, a little at a time whilst beating on high speed. The meringue will begin to form stiff shiny peaks. When you turn the mixer off, you should be able to pull out the whisks out of the meringue and it will remain intact and very firm.
  5. Form the pavlova base: On one tray, spread about half of the mixture to form a mountain shape. In the centre of the mountain make a bit of a crater using a spoon to scoop a little bit out. Then using a wooden spoon or a smooth knife, make gentle sweeping motions all around the outside of the mountain structure, moving from the bottom to the top, leaving small peaks at the crater of the pavlova. See the images below for reference.
  6. Form the meringue disk: On the other tray, keeping the same diameter as the pavlova, spread 2/3 of the remaining mixture but this time spreading it about 3cm high in the form of a flat disk. The remaining meringue can be used to make smaller meringues for snacking (or distribute it among the two base layers for a larger cake).
  7. Place the two trays in the oven on static setting. Bake initially for 10 minutes at 130°C. After the first ten minutes, without opening the oven, lower the temperature to 100°C and bake for an additional 90 minutes. Turn off the oven, keep the meringues at least 2 hours in the oven to cool completely, keeping the oven door closed.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. Pour the cream into a very large bowl.
  2. Whip the cream: Using a handheld mixer, whip the chilled cream until it thickens. Watch it closely. once fluffy but firm, stop. if you take it too far it will become study and become butter. Once thickened fold through icing sugar to taste.

Assembling the Berry Pavlova

  1. Start with the meringue disc, placing it on your plate or stand of choice. Dollop some whipped cream on top and using a smooth knife spread the cream in a thick even layer across the top.
  2. Sprinkle a few berries on the cream.
  3. Layer your pavlova meringue on top of this layer.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, break the centre of the crater a little to accomodate more cream and fruit.
  5. Dollop more cream into the crater then intuitively arrange the berries how you like.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Let me know below if you give it a go ♡