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Photo by Krista Gobzema
Photo by Krista Gobzema

Everybody loves Pavlova. This is the cake that always disappears first in our home. With it’s lightness and the perfect combination of sweet and sour, it’s a perfect cherry on top of a wonderful meal. Or an outstanding event. You choose.

Ingredients:

For the Pavlova:

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for the cream
  • Seasonal berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • Optional mascarpone (a tablespoon)

Instructions:

Cake:

    • Preheat your oven to 120°C (250°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle on the paper as a guide.
    • In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the powdered sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy.
    • Gently fold in the cornstarch, white vinegar, and vanilla extract.
    • Spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper within the circle. Shape it into a round form with a slight well in the center. Go nuts here – make mountains around, or better yet – leave this task to your kids!
    • Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 100°C (215°F). Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, until the meringue is crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.
    • Turn off the oven and let the Pavlova cool completely inside, with the door slightly open. Don’t rush this part or you’ll get cracks in your pretty Pavlova mountain peaks.
  1. Topping:
    • When your Pavlova is completely cooled, prepare the topping. Whip the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until it forms soft peaks. If you’re like me and the whipped cream is simply not enough, you can whip in a generous tablespoon of good quality mascarpone for extra thickness.
    • Now it’s time to assemble your Pavlova. Start with carefully transfering the cooled Pavlova to a serving plate. Then spoon the whipped cream over the Pavlova and top with a generous amount of seasonal berries. Or pretty much absolutely anything that you have at hand. Rosemary? Fine! Physalis? Great!
    • Add some fresh mint leaves and there you go! Serve ASAP.

 

Kids can help! They can add the powdered sugar while you’re whipping (have a quick lesson about never ever putting your fingers in the mixing bowl). They can also help with creating the Pavlova shape and garnishing it with berries and mint. Basically with everything. Ah, just leave this recipe to the kids. With a little supervision.

Vegetables

Fried rice

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Oatmeal muffins with fresh berries

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