EID MUBARAK! And here is the last Ramadan recipe for this year… a layered strawberries and cream pavlova dessert! Not one pavlova but three whole pavlovas sandwiched together with freshly whipped vanilla cream and sweet berries. The perfect sweet ending to this month of fasting.
Making a pavlova is incredibly straightforward and requires a handful of ingredients, unlike some other dessert recipes of mine. However, it does need patience because one wrong step can lead to a disaster and a whole load of wasted meringue. Trust me, I used up about 100000 eggs just making this.
You’ll want to start by whipping room temperature egg whites. You’ll need to be careful when separating the yolks and whites because a drop of yolk can ruin the meringue (this happened to me). Your bowl must also be free from any soap residue or traces of anything, so giving it a quick wipe with half a lemon can help with this, as well as wiping the lemon on the whisk.
The egg whites will need to be whisked to soft peaks before you add in the sugar. Not anything less or more than soft peaks, otherwise it won’t work (this also happened to me). Slowly add in 2 tbsp of sugar at a time, whisking in between each addition, as the sugar needs time to break down into the egg white mixture. Rushing this step may cause a grainy meringue (yup, I was impatient at this step too).
You’ll want to cook the pavlova on a low heat for an hour to ensure that it is perfectly cooked. Once it has cooked, leave it to cool and it is ready to eat! You can also store the pavlova in an airtight container or leave in a cool oven with the door shut until you are ready to eat.
STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM LAYERED PAVLOVA
This makes a 3 layer pavlova that feeds around 10 people. You can reduce this to 6 eggs and 12oz (350g) sugar
10 egg whites, room temperature
20oz caster sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla
500ml double cream
1tbsp caster sugar
1 pack strawberries, sliced
1 pack blueberries
1 handful of mint leaves, optional
Icing sugar, optional
- Preheat the oven to 120 degrees C fan. On 3 sheets of baking paper, draw a circle on each with a pencil and turn the paper upside down on a baking tray.
- Beat the egg whites on medium to high speed until the egg whites form soft peaks.
- Slowly add in 2 tbsp of sugar at a time, ensuring the sugar is completely whisked in before adding in the next 2 spoonfuls. The meringue should start becoming a glossy white.
- Add in the vanilla and cornstarch, and whisk until stiff peaks form. You can test that the mixture is correct by holding the bowl upside down, the mixture should remain where it is and not move at all (not even an inch).
- Spoon the mixture on each of the three circles on the baking trays – try to ensure there is an even distribution of the mixture between the three trays.
- Place the trays in the oven and cook for at least an hour. Do not open the oven during this time. After an hour, the meringues should have a crisp outer shell but still be a little soft and set inside. Leave this to cool and do not handle until it completely cooled down.
- Whilst waiting for the meringue to cool down, make the whipping cream by whisking double cream, sugar, and vanilla together until the cream has thickened and has peaks.
- Place 1 pavlova layer on the serving plate, followed by ⅓ of the cream mixture and a handful of berries. Repeat this with the second meringue and third layer. Garnish with icing sugar (if using) and mint leaves (if using). Serve immediately with extra cream on the side.