I have always, always loved pavlova.
I think it stems from my delight at the frozen ones bought from the Cash & Carry back in the 70′s. A raspberry pavlova was the height of chic in those days, even though my Mum used to forget to get it out of the freezer so we ended up hacking at it with the bread knife whilst it retained more than an air of frostiness.
You don’t need a bread knife for this one…not even a spork is required. The meringue will fall apart as soon as look at you.
Don’t worry, this is a good thing.
I based the meringue on the mini pavlova recipe in ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ as this allowed me to make a smallish quantity. Most recipes call for 8 large egg whites. This would leave me in danger of making copious amounts of fattening hollandaise or ending up in tears after another failed attempt at home-made mayonnaise. Both of these things are bad for my health in one way or another.
Whisk 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm peaks, then whilst still whisking, very gradually add 250g of golden caster sugar. The golden sugar is what gives them their soft apricot colour and a lovely light toffee flavour.
The meringue will become more voluminous and glossy. Then you can add 2 teaspoons of cornflour and 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar. I think it’s this bit that makes the meringues marshmallow soft, but don’t quote me on that.
I drew 10 cm circles on the baking parchment and spooned the mixture onto these. It made ‘about 4′. I think there was a little left over as a ‘chefs tester meringue blob.’ You can shape them with a spoon to make them slightly higher at the sides.
Note that the ‘mini pavlova’ title is a bit of a misnomer. The photos mislead too as that spoon is a huge old serving spoon. I’d like to see you get through a whole one of these, but I feel this task is one I need to keep working at. We can only achieve our goals with perseverance.
Put your glistening meringue nests into the oven at 150 (with my superheated oven I went for 130) for 30 minutes, then switch the oven off and leave them in there for another 30 minutes. Cool them on a wire rack them fill them with cream and the fruitiest fruit you can get your hands on.
Printable ingredients and recipe here.