It’s Christmas in Australia. Christmas in July, that is! In case some of you didn’t know, it is the middle of winter season down under. Took quite a while to get there because of what felt like a long summer but the winter chills are definitely here and making us crave for comfort foods. It is also roast turkeys and ham season as some families observe Christmas in July. We had our small family celebration with the cousins and aunties last month but I felt like having a go again soon after the temperature dropped to a more Christmasy atmosphere. I got all excited and started making menu plans. I had one thing in mind for dessert – pavlova wreath. I was imagining in my head how I will decorate it with berries and mint leaves and as I was doing that, the more I craved for it! Couldn’t wait for another Christmas in July get -together, I just made the pavlova wreath anyway. No season needed as an excuse to create this very pretty dessert!
I really had fun making this pavlova wreath. I used the Grandma’s Pavlova recipe, which has white vinegar and cornflour added to the meringue mixture. The texture is marshmallow-like in the centre and crisp outside. It is less brittle than pavlova recipes without the vinegar and cornflour. Like what I have said, this is one fun dessert to make. Let your creative juices flow and decorate it with your choice of indulgence. As a matter of fact, chocolate-coated nuts and chocolate sauce make a very nice topping. Personally, I like my wreath festive looking so I used fresh strawberries, fresh mint leaves and frozen mixture of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries to decorate the wreath.
- 4 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 cup cream, whipped
- your choice of fresh or frozen berries for decoration
- fresh mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 150C degrees.
- On a baking paper, draw a circle by tracing a plate or round baking pan. I used a 10-inch plate as a template. Place paper on a baking tray.
- In a large dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt with an electric beaters until stiff peak forms. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly after each addition. Beat until mixture is thick and glossy and all sugar has dissolved.
- Fold in the vinegar and cornflour using a metal spoon.
- Spoon dollops of mixture along the traced circle on the baking paper creating a wreath form.
- Bake the pavlova for 40 minutes, or until it is pale cream in colour and crisp. Reduce the heat to a very slow 120C degrees and bake for further 10 minutes. Please take note that oven temperature varies. You may need to adjust baking time depending on your oven.
- Turn oven off and leave pavlova to cool inside, leaving oven door ajar with a wooden spoon.
- Meanwhile, prepare your berries or choice of topping.
- Once pavlova has cooled completely, remove from oven. Do not worry about little cracks, it is normal.
- Top pavlova with freshly whipped cream. Decorate with berries and fresh mint leaves.
Now, indulge in pavlova love!