Pavlova is a dessert made from meringue, whipped cream and tropical fruit. It is very simple to make and looks spectacular.
Ingredients: Meringue base
4 egg whites (making sure that there are no traces of yolk)
1 cup superfine sugar (granulated sugar pulverized in the food processor)
1t white vinegar (do not use cider or wine vinegar)
2 t corn starch
Put the egg whites into the very clean bowl of a stand mixer. Best if the whites are at room temperature. Mix them slowly to break them up, and then beat at high speed until they form stiff peaks. Continue to beat while adding the sugar a little at a time. You know when they are done when if you rub a little of the egg white/sugar mixture between your fingers it doesn't feel gritty. Sprinkle the corn starch and vinegar over the surface and fold in to the mixture with a spatula.
On a sheet of parchment paper, place the meringue mixture in a circle, with the edges mounded higher than the center.
Bake on center rack of the oven set at 250F for about 75 minutes, and then allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar and the oven off.
This can be done a day or 2 ahead. Just store the cooked shell in a cool, dry, covered place.
Ingredients - Filling/topping
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4t granulated sugar
1t pure vanilla essence
Some (total about 2 cups) of fruits - include at least one tropical fruit (e.g. mango). Choose among Kiwi, mango, raspberries, blue berries, peaches, nectarines, strawberries. Make sure there is a good mix of colors.
Chill a medium mixing bowl in the freezer. Whip the cream in the chilled bowl until it is floppy with soft peaks. Cream whips better when cold. When whipped add the sugar and vanilla, whip more to incorporate. Be careful not to overwhip or you will have sugary/vanilla flavored butter.
Chop the fruits into raspberry sized pieces - trying to have the fruit even in size. Leave the raspberries whole.
Fill the center of the meringue base with whipped cream and decorate randomly with the fruits.
Serve immediately (it will hold for about 2 hours, but the meringue does go a bit soggy after that.