Simple Strawberry Pavlova

So, yesterday was World Baking Day. I decided to 'bake brave' by making something I've never made before...a pavlova. It might not be the most complicated dessert ever but I've wanted to make one for so long and just never got round to it.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it was so simple to make, I can't believe I put it off for so long. I kept it simple by keeping the cream just softly whipped, adding no extra sugar or icing sugar and I just topped it with halved strawberries. I planned to make a compote from the strawberries and some rhubarb but we went for a 2 hour walk round Knypersley Reservoir and by the time we got back I was too tired to do anything else except halve the strawberries and arrange them on top. I think it looks really nice though, especially the contrast between the red and the white.

The meringue came out perfectly. It was crunchy on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside and went so well with the sweet strawberries. I kept finding Nick scoffing spoonfuls of pavlova...always a good sign of a well done dessert. I'm off to visit one of my best friends at the weekend for her birthday and I promised I'd bring a cake so I'm thinking up some really good recipes and I'll share it with you when I've baked it. I love it when I get to make cakes for an actual celebration. 

On another note I wanted to ask you all a big favour. I would love it if you would nominate me for Best Food Blog in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013. You can do so by heading to the Cosmo site here.

Simple Strawberry Pavlova
(meringue adapted from BBC Good Food)

4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

600ml double cream, softly whipped

230g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 C/270 F. In a dry, clean bowl whisk your egg whites until stiff. Gradually add the sugar and keep whisking until it becomes thick and glossy. Add in the cornflour and white wine vinegar and whisk again. 
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and draw round a dinner plate in the middle so you know how big to make your pavlova base. Dab a little mixture onto the baking tray itself to get the greaseproof paper to stick. Spoon the mixture onto the centre of the dinner plate circle and, using a palette knife, spread it out towards the edges (but not right upto the edge) and create a dip on the middle so it's almost like a very shallow bowl. 
  3. Turn the oven down to 100 C/210 F and place the baking tray on the middle shelf. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. When finished, turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let it cool completely before removing. 
  4. In the meantime, whip the cream and slice the strawberries. When cooled, transfer carefully to the plate and spoon the cream over the middle of the base. Arrange the strawberries on top and give it a light dusting with icing sugar before serving.