Pavlova is a fluffy, sweet and soft cake made out of meringue and varied toppings such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, fruit sauce or sorbet that is commonly served on Easter. It is such a delightful dessert because it is so light and airy. This pavlova recipe is topped with fresh whipped cream and a mixed berry sauce (recipes for both are below).
It is not easy to make a meringue, so here are a few tips for working with egg whites. First, make sure the bowls and mixing tools are grease and particle free before touching them to the egg whites. The cleaner your utensils are, the easier it will be to beat your egg whites into frothy peaks. Second, wait until your egg whites are at room temperature before beating.
Whipped Cream Topping
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees F. Draw a 9 inch circle on a sheet of waxed paper (or parchment paper). This will act as a blueprint for the meringue later on. Be sure to flip the paper to the other side to avoid any marks on the bottom of your meringue.
Add the egg whites and a pinch of salt to your electric mixer. Beat this mixture (starting on a low and gradually increase your mixer's speed to high) on high for a minute or so or until the egg whites have firmed up. While still beating egg whites on high, gradually add in the sugar. Beat this until stiff and glossy peaks start to form (2-3 minutes).
After turning the mixer off, add the cornstarch, vanilla extract and white vinegar by gently folding them into the egg whites (use a rubber spatula for this). Use the circle on the parchment paper as a guide and pour the meringue keeping it inside the circle. Bake the Pavlova for about 1 1/2 hours. After the baking time is up, leave the meringue in the oven to cool. Keep the oven door closed and cool for an hour.
After the meringue has cooled completely, remove it from the oven and turn it upside down onto a serving dish. Top with a thick layer of whipped cream and top the center of the whipped cream with the fresh berry sauce. Serve immediately.
Add the heavy cream to your electric mixer (with whisk attachment), and beat until it becomes thick. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, continuing to beat until the cream has thickened.
Mixed Berry Sauce
Combine your berries, sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a small pan and bring mixture to a boil. Then simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes. Use a food processor to blend the sauce, jam and framboise liqueur. Cool the sauce before pouring over whipped cream and meringue.