The perfect pavlova

(21 ratings)

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The perfect pavlova
The perfect pavlova
  • Makes: 1

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

If you really want to impress with a homemade dessert, you should try our pavlova recipe. The classic meringue dessert is a little tricky to master but it produces amazing results. Homemade meringue needs a lot of care and attention (take a look at our essential tips below) but once you've made them once, you'll get the hang of it! Berries and cream are the ultimate filling and if you're feeling fancy you can even swirl a little food colouring into the mix to give it a colourful finish.


For the meringue:

  • 5 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2tsp red food colouring (optional)

For the filling:

  • 290ml pot double cream
  • 2tbsp icing sugar
  • 1tbsp rosewater
  • 450g summer berries
  • Rose petals to decorate (optional)

It's really important that the bowl you use to make the meringue is thoroughly cleaned as any grease can affect the outcome of the pavlova


  1. To make your pavlova, preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas Mark 1. Draw a 23cm circle on a large sheet of baking parchment and place, pencil side down, on a baking sheet (if you lay it pencil side up, the line will come off on the meringue). Put the egg whites in a large, roomy bowl, add the salt and whisk until stiff. Add a couple of tablespoons of the sugar and whisk thoroughly. Add another couple of tablespoons of sugar and whisk again. Continue until all the sugar has been used and the mixture is stiff and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour and white wine vinegar.
  2. Stir in the food colouring, lightly swirling until the mixture is marbled with colour. Spoon the meringue on to the parchment and spread out to fill the circle. Build up the sides into peaks to hold the filling.
  3. Bake for 1 hr until a pale biscuit colour. Remove from the baking parchment and transfer to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
  4. Assemble the pavlova. Whisk the cream until lightly thickened. Add the icing sugar and rosewater, and continue to whisk until thickened. Just before serving, spoon the cream mixture into the meringue case and pile the berries on top. Scatter over the rose petals.

Top tips for the perfect pavlova:

* Use baking parchment, as it is easier to remove from the cooked meringue than greaseproof.
* Use eggs at room temperature as they will whisk more easily. Older eggs will whisk up to a larger volume than fresh eggs.
* The cornflour and white wine vinegar help to stabilise the meringue and stop it from collapsing, so do not be tempted to leave it out!
* Plastic bowls are a definite no-no, as they really do hold on to grease.
* When separating eggs, crack each white into a cup before pouring into the bowl just in case you break the yolk. Egg yolk is basically full of fat and will stop your whites from whipping up.

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(21 ratings)

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