Pavs are divine with lots of fresh summer fruit on top, but during winter, I don't like using canned fruit, so I buy Cabury flaky chocolate bars and crumble the chocolate all over it.
Because I could eat one of these completely by myself, with absolutely no help from anyone else in the family, I don't make them very often. So I make them for Christmas or birthdays or other special occasions only.
"The pavlova is an Australian or New Zealand dessert, a single-layered meringue cake with a crisp crust and soft, marshmallow centre, topped with whipped cream and fruit. The confection was popularised when the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured Australasia in 1925. Whether the final perfecting and naming of the cake was the achievement of Australians or NewZealanders is a matter of national rivalry. One explanation of the pavlova’s origins is that a West Australian chef found a recipe in a New Zealand women’s magazine and adapted it – an explanation which happily gives each country its own piece of the cake." (taken from a web site, but I can't remember which one)
A true New Zealand Pavlova :DBeat 3 egg whites with a pinch of salt until very stiff. (there's lots of beating in this) When stiff add 3 tablespoons of cold water, one at a time, while you are beating. Keep beating egg whites. Then add 1 cup of castor sugar, (fine white sugar) a very little at a time, while you are beating, keep adding the sugar until it has all been added and it has all dissolved. Then add 2 teaspoons of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and 1 teaspoon of malt vinegar and keep beating until egg mixture is very stiff.
Tip the egg mix onto a baking tray, I always tip it in a pile, and I don't spread it too much, as it will spread a little while baking.
Cook it in an oven at 160 / 375 for 1 hour.
Put it onto a large plate and when cool top it with whipped FRESH cream and your toppings.
While the pav cools you will get a little cracking of the meringue shell, and it may also sink a little. Nothing a little extra whipped cream can't hide!!! :))
I couldn't find any pics of my pavs, except this one made last summer. I topped it with fresh strawberries and cherries and pureed some strawberries to made the liquid you see running down the side. (and a little crumbled chocolate on top).
This recipe should come out with a crunchy outside and a soft marshmellowy inside.
Good luck Patty! Let me know how you get on!