Strawberry and vanilla pavlova
This pavlova has a thick fluffy marshmallow-like center all encased in a crisp bright white meringue shell, the key to this is to not rush the baking process and be patient so thta the meringue keeps its white colour. I have used the sweet and simple combination of fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce with smooth vanilla cream, to create a light, refreshing but indulgent summer dessert.
For the pavlova:
4 medium egg whites
280g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tar tar
11/4 tsp cornflour
11/4 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the vanilla cream:
300ml double cream
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the finish:
400g washed and hulled strawberries
3tbsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 120°C/fan 100°C/gas 1/2.
Line a large flat baking tray with grease proof paper or a teflon sheet.
In a large bowl begin to whisk the egg whites.
When the egg whites become foamy whisk in the cream of tar tar.
Continue whisking until they hold very stiff peaks.
Once stiff begin to add the sugar little by little until a thick and glossy mixture has formed.
In a separate ball stir together the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour and pour into the meringue mixture. Whisk in until fully incorporated.
Spoon 4 dollops of the mixture onto the centre of the lined tray and spread out slightly into a thick circle.
Next spoon more dollops around the edge of the circle creating a crown around it.
Then using a kebab skewer or chop stick whirl it round the each of the edge dollops to create a swirled, peaked effect and height around the centre.
Place the pavlova in the the preheated oven for 1-1 1/2 hours until crisp on the outside and marshmallow like in the centre. do not turn up th heat or rush the baking process otherwise the pavlova will take on a light brown colour and stay white.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile prepare the filling.
In a large bowl begin whisking the double cream until it begins to thicken slightly. Then whisk in the sugar in little by little until fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and whisk until it reaches soft peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To prepare the strawberries and strawberry puree, quarter all of the strawberries.
Place 100g into a blender along with the 3tbsp of sugar and 5tbsp of water.
Blend until completely smooth and has reached a drizzling consistency, you may need to add more water. set aside until ready to serve.
Assemble the pavlova.
Spoon the whipped cream into the centre and spread outwards.
Top with the sliced strawberries and finish with a drizzle of the strawberry puree.
Serve immediately with any remaining strawberry puree.