Pavlova Wreath

Despite being surrounded with contentious debate about whether it originated in Australia or New Zealand, the pavlova is a much-loved dessert at Christmas because it’s light, fresh, sweet and fruity, with a crisp exterior and soft, marshmallowy inside. Here’s a basic recipe in a beautiful festive shape to get you started, but get experimental with flavours such as salted caramel in the meringue or decorate with whatever decadent toppings your heart desires.

Serving Size

Makes 1 30cm Pavlova wreath

Prep Time

50 minutes

Cook Time

70 Minutes

WHAT YOU NEED

Pavlova

8 egg whites, at room temperature
600g caster sugar
300ml vanilla whipped cream, to decorate
750g mixed fresh berries

Vanilla Whipped Cream

Makes about 500ml
½ vanilla bean
300 ml thin (pouring) cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar

WHAT TO DO

Pavlova

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. With a pencil, draw a large circle approximately 30cm (12 inches) in diameter, then draw a second circle measuring 10cm in the middle. Turn the paper pencil-side down on the tray.

Put the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stir for about 5–7 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. At this stage the mixture will be warm.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites and sugar mixture until thick and the mixture has cooled, approximately 10–15 minutes.

Spoon onto the prepared tray and shape into a wreath using the circles as a guide.

Turn the oven temperature down to 100°C (200°F) and place the pavlova wreath in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the wreath in the oven to cool completely.

Top with lashings of vanilla whipped cream and copious amounts of mixed berries.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

Split the half vanilla bean lengthways, and then scrape the seeds using the tip of a sharp knife.

Combine the cream, vanilla seeds and sugar in a bowl and use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.


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