I love making meringues, I think they have an unfair reputation for being difficult, which means that when you put them on the table in front of your guests they think you’ve been slaving away all day to make them something wonderful. The reality is there’s a little bit of work at the beginning, but it’s easy with an electric whisk, then a lot of leaving it in the oven whilst you get on with other things. But you don’t need to tell them that.
What you need:
- 6 free range egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Fresh fruit of your choice – I used figs, cherries, star fruit, raspberries, blackberries and pomegranates.
- Mint leaves (optional)
- Chopped pistachios (optional)
- Lavender pieces (optional)
- Dried rose petals (optional)
- Chocolate flakes (optional)
Serves 10 310 calories per serving.
It’s so simple:
- Heat an oven to 100 degrees C.
- In a clean, dry bowl (and dirt or water will stop the eggs from whisking properly) whisk together the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks.
- Once you have peaks, turn up the whisk and spoon by spoon add in the sugar, and a pinch of salt. Keep whisking until it’s transformed into smooth glossy firm peaks.
- Line a baking trey, or use a silicone one, and spoon out the mixture. Make a higher rim around the edge, as when you serve the fruit and cream will sit in the middle and be held in by the rim.
- Put in the oven and leave for an hour, until the meringue has dried and look slightly golden, but are still fluffy in the middle.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.
- Whilst it’s cooling prep the toppings. I went for pistachio, lavender, rose and dark chocolate to sprinkle.
- Chop up your fruit and whisk your cream until it’s firm.
- Decorate! Once the base is cooled start by gently lifting it onto the serving plate or board. The start spooning on the whipped cream, then sprinkle on any nuts or chocolate you’re using.
- Arrange your fruit however you like – I had quite a lot so I also left some on the board for people to add to their plates if they wanted.
- Tadaa, you have a wonderful pavlova and your friends are all impressed by your kitchen skills!