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.

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