- 150 ml / 5 oz egg whites (4-5 eggs fridge cold eggs) (Note 1)
- 1 cup / 220g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch, sifted
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml thickened cream / heavy cream (any whipping cream)
- 1/4 cup / 55g cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
- Fruit of choice. I used: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries.
- Separate the whites and yolks while eggs are cold. Measure 150 ml/5oz egg whites (140 - 160ml is ok).
- Set whites aside to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 150C/300F (fan / convection) / 170C/340F (standard).
- Place whites in a bowl. Use a stand mixer (I use speed 7) or handheld beater (high) and beat until soft peaks form (Note 2)
- Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time, beating as you go. (Note 3)
- After adding the sugar, beat for a further 3 minutes or until thick and glossy. Rub a little of the fluff between your fingers, there should be no sugar grit - that means it is ready.
- Add cornflour and vinegar, beat on low for 5 - 7 seconds (or fold through with spatula) until just mixed through.
MAKING THE PAV (NOTE 4)
- Get the base of a springform cake pan (24cm/9.5" or larger) and turn it upside down. Dab meringue on the edge and place a piece of baking paper (parchment paper) on top.
- Gently place half the fluff onto the paper. Use the cake pan as a guide to make it round and coax it into a circle shape around 20cm / 8" in diameter (Note 5).
- Carefully scoop out the remaining fluff. Now coax it into a dome shape (not a cake with straight smooth sides) with edges sloping in slightly. Flatten top. Make it 4-5cm / 2 " high - not much higher. (Note 5). See video / photos in post. It will rise/expand.
- Transfer to baking tray. CAREFULLY place in the oven, GENTLY close the door and turn oven DOWN to 100C/210F (fan / convection) / 115C/240F (standard).
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours - no peeking, no thundering through kitchen! (Note 6)
- Turn oven off, leave the door closed and leave Pav in the oven overnight to cool (I've done 18 hours).
- Transfer Pav to serving platter then slide cake pan out from underneath. Use butter knife if required to loosen edges from paper, then slide paper out from underneath.
- Just before serving, top with cream and fruit of choice.
- Serve and be a rock star!
- Place cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat cream until it is thickened and just holds its shape - don't overbeat, it should be silky smooth, not speckled with bubbles and stiff.
1. Eggs can differ drastically in size so the best way to ensure your Pav works is to measure the egg whites by volume. Separate eggs while cold because it's easier, then bring whites to room temperature because they fluff up better / easier.
Don't use freshly laid eggs, make sure they're 4+ days old. Store bought is a safe bet.
2. To beat whites to soft peaks, beat the whites until you can't see the egg whites anymore i.e. it all turns into white foam, then beat for a further 1 minute. The whites should now be soft peaks - i.e. just holds its shape in peaks.
The vinegar and cornflour / cornstarch help keep the egg whites stabilised once whipped which is especially important for a pav because it's quite tall (not as important for small meringues).
3. If using a handheld beater, use a heavy based bowl so you can beat while adding sugar at the same time without the bowl moving around.
4. Work quickly here - after you stop beating, try to get it in the oven within 5 minutes max.
5. Eyeball it, you will go by height to determine Pav size, not diameter. The cake low height and shape with slightly sloping inward edges makes it a more stable so it is less prone to cracking / collapsing. And don't worry, the Pav rises and expands when it bakes!
6. I bake for longer at a lower temp than most recipes because I find it makes the Pav more stable and also makes it come out white. Higher temp can cause the Pav to rise too fast, making it more prone to collapsing. I preheat the oven on a higher temp to kick start the crisping of the shell to compensate for baking at a lower temp.
7. MAKE AHEAD / STORING: Store the cool pav in an airtight container until ready for serving. I have baked it the night before then left it in the oven until lunch time the next day - worked a treat. Do not refrigerate the Pav - it will sweat when it comes to room temperature and soften the crisp meringue shell. Only put the topping on just before serving - once the cream etc is on the pav, it holds up well for around 20 min, 30 min tops.
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