Perfectly pink pavlova
Typically, an Aussie pavlova is a big cloud of shiny white meringue decorated with lashings of whipped cream, slices of strawberry and kiwi fruit and the contents of a passionfruit, ideally plucked from a vine hanging over the back of the outdoor dunny. But if you’re bored of the same old pav – or you’re not a fan of any of the usual toppings – you can always give mine a go. It combines the flavours of mixed berries with a hint of coconut and, if you like a drinkie, you can add a drizzle of framboise liqueur.
For the meringue base
4 large egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon coconut essence
1 tablespoon cornflour
A few drops of red or pink food colouring if you really love pink
For the topping
400ml double cream, whipped
200g mixed berries, either fresh or frozen
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
Framboise liqueur (raspberry liqueur) – if this is hard to come by, a drizzle of Malibu or a thick, sticky dessert wine works
- Preheat the oven to 130 degrees (fan).
- Put baking paper on a large flat oven tray – you can trace around a dinner plate if you want a perfect circle or freestyle when you put the meringue down – I like a longish oval shape myself. Or, as per the picture, you can go for a series of individual mini pavs – whatever you like!
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff – you should be able to hold the bowl upside-down and they won’t fall on the floor, although this is a risky test.
- Gradually whisk in the sugar until you get a thick, stiff, glossy mixture then add the coconut essence and cornflour. If you’re committed to pink, add a few drops of food colouring but be aware that a little usually goes a long way.
- Spoon the meringue mix onto the baking tray, either as one big meringue or a series of individual blobs, and pop in the oven for an hour. Keep an eye on it as it can burn easily with all that sugar.
- When it’s baked nicely, set aside to cool. Don’t try and top it while it’s still warm – it’ll be a gross, melty mess.
- Once the giant pillow of meringue has cooled, spoon on the whipped cream and scatter with the mixed berries and desiccated coconut. Carefully drizzle the booze on top. Serve ASAP if possible or keep chilled until you’re ready to eat it.