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A Christmas Pavlova

I've grown up eating lots of Pavlova as it's my Mum's favourite dessert to make for friends. This is a Country Women's Association (CWA) recipe that of course is fabulous!

I love making my pavlova in the shape of a Christmas wreath which is lovely and festive at this time of the year.

4 egg whites
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch salt
5 tablespoons boiling water
1 good teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 200 degrees

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. I have seen a good trick with pavs before where you draw the outline of a round cake tin with pencil on the underside of the baking parchment paper then flip it over so have a guide for placing the meringue on.

3. Place the egg whites, cornflour and sugar into a large bowl with a pinch of salt and the boiling water. Beat on high until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture holds its shape well (this took me about 4 minutes on my mixer). Halfway through (2 or so minutes) add the vinegar and vanilla essence.

Another trick I’ve seen is to add a few dabs of the meringue to the under side of the baking paper to hold it into place whilst it’s cooking.

4. Pile the mixture onto the prepared tray using a spatula to mould the mixture. I love to make it in the shape of a Christmas wreath at this time of the year.

5. Place it into the preheated oven, close the door, and turn the oven down to one stroke below 150 degrees and bake for 1 hour. As every oven varies if the colour starts to tinge, turn the temp down a little. I have mine cooking at 125 degrees.

The best thing to do after it’s cooked is to turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in there to cool down.

The pavlova can keep for a few days before being decorated which is perfect for this time of the year.

Pile with coulis, berries and mint leaves or even some holly if you have a bush in your garden…how festive is THAT? Other times of the year I decorate with whipped cream, sliced banana and passionfruit.

Tell me what are your pavlova tips or what do you think is the best topping?

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