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The Perfect Pavlova

In this episode, Donna shows us how to perfect an irresistible slow-cooked beef brisket, along with a versatile Asian chilli jam and a delicious light and fluffy meringue.

Taking these must-have basic recipes, Donna shows us how to create clever variations of each, transforming them in enticing new ways that will inspire anyone to go from basics to brilliance.

Ingredients

Method

For the no-fail meringue mixture

  1. Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until each addition is dissolved before adding more++.
  3. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk for a further 10–15 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy+++.
  4. Place the cornflour and vinegar in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the cornflour mixture to the eggwhite mixture and whisk for 30 seconds or until well combined. Makes 1 quantity
    • NOTES
    • Making meringue is a science. Be sure to measure your ingredients carefully, including the eggwhites as egg sizes do vary. Fresh, room temperature eggs work best – when whisked they’ll become fluffy and voluminous, plus they’re more stable during baking.
    • Be patient when gradually adding the sugar to the eggwhite. Each tablespoon of sugar should be dissolved before the next is added.
    • Take care not to overwhisk the meringue mixture – it’s ready when it’s thick, glossy, smooth and there are no more sugar granules. You can check this by rubbing a little mixture between your thumb and forefinger.

TIP: It’s best to avoid making meringue on humid days. Excess humidity can cause meringue to sink during or after baking.

For the perfect pavlova

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Using a pencil, draw a 20cm circle on a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Place the baking paper, pencil-side down, on a lightly greased baking tray+. Spoon the meringue mixture into the circle to make a neat round. Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely in the closed oven++.
  2. Place the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Place the pavlova on a cake stand or plate and top with the cream, raspberries, passionfruit and peach to serve. Serves 8–10
    • NOTES
    • Turn the baking paper so it’s pencil-side down on the tray – no marks will transfer onto the meringue.
    • Allow the meringue to cool gradually in the oven with the door closed – preferably overnight.