PAVLOVA -(an Australian dessert). Very showy and very pretty and very tricky. If you do not get it, persevere, keep trying, it is worth it and inexpensive. You can form any shape you like (usually round or rectangular) but the art is in the mound of mountains peaks you will make around the center- leaving a space in the middle which you fill with about half an inch of the meringue, later to be further filled with whipped cream and berries. WARNING:This dessert has to be done at least 8 hours before serving or the night before. If the whites are not 100% at ROOM temperature this will not work. Also, when you are making a dessert that only uses yolks ,freeze the whites and you can use them on a later date for the Pavlova.
Preheat oven to 250 F. Use parchment paper to line a cookie pan for a rectangular Pavlova or a pizza pan for a round one. Slightly butter the parchment paper so later you can remove it and place in a serving dish. 1. Wipe bowl of mixer and whisk attachment with white vinegar on a paper towel. This is important as it removes any grease residue. 2. Start beating the egg whites in a large bowl with the electric mixer at low speed. Whisk till they fill up with bubbles. Slowly increase the speed (this should take a good 5 minutes). Keep beating at high speed till whites are stiff, another 10 minutes. 3.Slowly begin adding the sugar. Keep beating till you are sure all the sugar is totally dissolved.(another 10 minutes or so). 4. Making the peaks: I scoop batches of the meringue with a large spoon and the help of a spatula, one after the other forming my circle, rectangle or square. *Make sure to keep enough meringue to fill center in next step). With a knife I close all bottom holes between mounds and form on the top the highest peaks possible till it begins to look like Yosemite. 5. Fill the center of the peaks with the remaining meringue (about 1/2 inch thick). 6. Place dish in the middle of the oven. Bake at 250 F for 1 hour. 7. Lower the temperature to 200 F and bake for another hour. 8. Now turn OFF the heat and leave pavlova in oven for at least 8 hours so that it dries completely. Do NOT open the oven door AT ALL during this time. 8. Remove from oven and transfer to serving dish, carefully peeling off parchment. 9. Just before serving whip the cream, adding a touch of vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. 10. Fill in the center of the Pavlova with whipped cream and top with fruit. 11. Finally, sprinkle a small amount of conf sugar on top.