Light and crisp with a chewy centre, this delicate pavlova dessert is easy to make.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cornflour
  • 1.5 tsp white wine vinegar

Whisk the egg whites until still, then add the sugar a teaspoon at a time, whisking constantly.

Blend the cornflour and vinegar and whisk into the egg white mixture

Spread on a lined baking tray in chosen shape, with sides higher than centre

Place in a preheated oven 160 degrees C, then immediately reduce the temperature dial to 150 degrees C

Bake for an hour or until firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for a further hour

Remove from the oven and the lining paper and leave to cool

Top tip: Keep the oven door closed when you leave your meringue in to dry out, after cooking. Fan-assisted ovens however need their doors left ajar.

The pavlova base can be made a day in advance and kept cool and airtight.

For the topping:

  • Double or whipping cream, or alternative 375ml (13fl oz) (whipped until stiff)
  • Fruit 375ml (13fl oz)
  • Flavourings to taste

Sunshine pavolva: pineapple chunks piled on top of Malibu-flavoured cream, sprinkled with coconut chips

Wimbledon pavlova: strawberries (hulled and quartered), Champagne-flavoured cream

Seaside pavlova: vanilla-flavoured creme fraiche or whipping cream (sweetened), flaked chocolate

For more recipes have a look at a simple one-pot-pasta recipe.

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