Some people find meringue difficult to make, but I hope this recipe makes it easy! It just takes a good recipe, some eggs that are about a week old (but still in date), a little patience and a whole lot of whisking and your meringues are sure to be the shiniest in your street! The cornflour in the recipe helps the meringue to be a little chewy, which is customary for a Pavlova.
Put the flaked almonds (including 50g extra for the top, if using) into a baking tin.
Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C (fan 120°C/275°F/gas 1). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk them until they begin to thicken and turn opaque – this should take a couple of minutes using a hand-held electric whisk or a stand mixer.
Add a quarter of the sugar and whisk up the egg whites again until the mixture goes stiff. Keep whisking the egg whites, and with the other hand, add the sugar in a steady stream, whisking all the time. This technique is called ‘meringuing the foam’, and is a quick and easy way to make beautiful meringue.
When you have added all the sugar, keep whisking the meringue until the mixture goes really stiff and shiny. To check that it is ready, take some of the meringue on the end of the whisk, then turn the whisk meringue-covered end up – the meringue should be super stiff and not floppy.
Using a spatula, fold in the cornflour, lemon juice and 150g toasted flaked almonds. Dab little blobs of the meringue under each corner of the baking parchment on the baking sheets. The meringue will act like glue, stopping your parchment from flying around in the oven.
Take a mechanical ice-cream scoop or a big metal spoon and put eighteen equal-sized dollops of the mixture onto the lined baking sheets, and then use a smaller spoon to make a big indent in the centre of each Pavlova shell. Once the Pavlovas are baked, the cream and fruit will sit in here.
Once the Pavlovas are cool, make the filling. Whisk up the double cream, vanilla and icing sugar in a bowl until the cream is just holding its shape. It is very easy to over-whisk the cream, so stop when it starts to thicken.
Place the Pavlova shells onto plates and then divide the flavoured cream between the shells. Place the raspberries on top. Scatter over the rest of the toasted flaked almonds, if you fancy it.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave using 40-second blasts, stirring well between each blast so that the chocolate does not burn.
Use a disposable piping bag or simply use a fork to flick the melted chocolate over the raspberries. If you use a piping bag go as neat or as freestyle as you fancy. Serve.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.