Recipe: Michael Van de Elzen’s Easy Peasy Perfect Pavlova
A perfect pav topped with pomegranate-coloured whipped cream.
Words and recipe: Michael Van de Elzen
If you find yourself struggling for the time to make a dessert to finish off the perfect Christmas lunch, I have the answer! This pavlova is very easy and looks gorgeous. The trick to getting it right is to ensure you have the oven set to the correct temperature and allow enough time – you don’t want to rush the cooking process.
To make a perfect pav, you want to dry the outside to create a hard shell. This holds the pavlova together but also means it stays soft and moist inside. Bake it too quickly and it will collapse once it cools, and nobody likes a flat pavlova!
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1½ cups caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp boiling water
250ml pouring cream
100ml pomegranate syrup
1 punnet fresh raspberries, hulled
Preheat the oven to 180°C and position the rack in the centre of the oven. Draw a 23cm circle on a large piece of baking paper and put this on a baking tray. Clean and dry the beater and bowl of your mixer.
Put the whites, sugar, vanilla, vinegar, cornflour, and lastly the water into the mixer bowl. Beat on high speed for 10-12 minutes until shiny and stiff. Spoon into your circle and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 150°C and bake for a further 45 minutes.
Turn the oven off. Allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least an hour, preferably longer if possible.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and stir in the pomegranate syrup. Spoon the cream mix onto the top of the pavlova and decorate with the fresh raspberries.
• If you like, swap the raspberries out for strawberries.
• Add a little bit of sherry to the pomegranate cream if it takes your fancy – after all, it’s Christmas!