PREP + COOK TIME 2 hours plus cooling. SERVES 8
6 egg whites – at room temperature -I use size 6 eggs
1 ½ cups or 330g caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1 punnet of blueberries
1-2 punnets strawberries halved
A handful or two of cherries
300ml of cream – whipped
Optional extras – pomegranate arils, raspberries, Hersheys kisses
Pre heat the oven to 175°C
Cover a metal baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and draw a circle roughly 15-16 cm in diameter on the paper.
In a large, grease free bowl, whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition until all the sugar is added and completely dissolved and the mixture is glossy.
With a metal spoon fold in the vanilla, corn flour and white vinegar.
Spoon a circle of meringue blobs on the prepared tray. Place another round of slightly smaller blobs on top of the first to give the wreath height. Flatten the top just a little and place the tray into the oven.
Reduce the oven temperature 100°C and bake without opening the oven for 1 and a half hours, then turn off the heat and leave in the oven till completely cool.
Use a metal spatula to loosen the Pavlova from the paper and slip it onto a serving plate. Spoon whipped cream on the top then scatter on the halved strawberries, the blueberries and cherries.
Cooks Tip: Use any fresh fruit that will look pretty and not turn brown. To make this into a real show stopper you could scatter in some little chocolates such as Hersheys kisses or white chocolate drops.
Pavlova will keep for a day unfilled in an airtight container. Add the toppings just prior to serving so it stays looking fresh.