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The Australian Pavlova

It's rich creamy and most of all delicious, we Australians have made many deserts and delicious recipes ready to be ate. But I warn you this recipe takes time and patience to be ready, or else you're not the one looking forward to this. But don’t be afraid of pavlova. In fact, I reckon pavlovas are pretty easy if you understand a few simple guidelines. I’ve read all sorts of contradicting stuff, however I know this recipe is tried and tested and works!

Serves 20people
free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4
cups caster sugar
tsp white vinegar
tsp cornflour
tsp pure vanilla essence
tbs just-boiled water
whipped cream to serve
fresh fruit to serve
Preheat the oven to 120c conventional bake (110c fan bake) and set an oven rack below the centre of the oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper, use a little butter or oil to stick it to the tray and stop it swirling around. Use a dinner plate (around 25cm in diameter) to stencil a circle on to the paper – use this as a guide for the pavlova on later. Place an oven rack just below the centre of the oven.
Separate the eggs one by one into the clean whisking bowl.
Start the beater/whisk on a low speed and whisk the eggs whites until firm peaks form – this means when the whisk is lifted from the mixture, the egg white should form a peak which stays upright and curl over a little bit at the end, and the mixture will be shiny and moist looking. Careful not to over-beat at this stage – if you do, the sugar won’t mix in with the egg whites properly. You can tell if it’s over beaten as it will go watery, grainy and lumpy. If that happens, you have to start over again (I advise you to mix it for 5-10 minutes).
Increase the beater speed to medium-high and start gradually adding the caster sugar to the egg whites – do this a tablespoon at a time, with the beater running, from the sides (not dumped in the middle), beating for about 5-10 seconds after each addition. This should take 5–7 minutes in total. Scrape down the sides every now and then with a spatula to get the stray sugar granules.
Add the cornflour and vinegar with the last spoonful of sugar, then continue to whisk for another few minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. To test it, rub some mixture between your thumb and forefinger – you shouldn’t feel any grit.
Lastly add the vanilla essence and boiling water, and whisk for about another minute.
Scrape the mixture out onto the lined baking tray into the circle you’ve drawn. Use a spatula to smooth it into an even circular shape.
Make a series of smooth upward sweeps all along the sides of the pavlova. This helps give it structure and will help prevent it sinking or crumbling later on.
Place the tray on the rack just below the centre of the oven and bake for 1 ½ hours. Don’t open the oven door while it’s cooking. After the 1½ hours is up, turn the oven off and, without opening the door, leave it overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
When ready to serve, decorate with whipped cream and fresh fruit – whatever the you want!

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