Pavlova

Here I am making Pavlova -  Australian & New Zealand national dessert.  I have friends come over for this weekend and this was a big hit.

Well I never heard of this dessert till late last week. I thought of making creme brulee which calls for egg yolks and I was clue less about what to do with the egg whites. I started browsing and this recipe caught my eye on Joyofbaking.com. So I decided to make this dessert. I have to admit that I was little bit scared to make this as I am not good at baking. But to my surprise this turned out awfully good. 

Eating this cake is like eating air.  You do not need flour for this cake..Yes, you read it right...No Flour!! This will be on my list of regular desserts as this one below is FINGER LICKING GOOD!!!!!!


Ingredients
1 cup or 6 egg whites(For me I ended up using 8 eggs to make 1 cup of whites)
1 cup super fine sugar (In a blended jar blend the sugar to smooth powder)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tbsp corn starch or corn flour

Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Assortment of fresh fruits : Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries
Method
Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch circle on the paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

In a large bowl take the egg whites and beat them with a hand mixer or electric mixer till they hold soft peaks as shown below.

Start adding in the sugar in batches (like a tbsp at a time) and continue to beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers).
Add in the vanilla extract and beat for a minute to incorporate it.
Sprinkle the lemon juice and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center.

Bake for an hour  to 75 minutes or until the outside is dry and is a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the oven door slightly open, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. If you do not let it cool in the oven and take it out, there is a fair chance of the meringue collapsing down.

The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft.
Just before serving gently place the pavlova onto a serving plate. In a bowl add cream, sugar, vanilla extract and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
 Pour the softly whipped cream into the center of the cake and spread evenly. Arrange the fruits on top of the cream.
 Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.

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