225ml egg whites (approximately 6 eggs), at room temperature
1½ cups caster sugar
1½ tsp white vinegar
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks have formed.
Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking for 30 seconds before adding more. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whisk for a further 6 minutes or until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Add the vinegar and whisk on low speed for 2 minutes or until glossy and combined.
Tips for the perfect meringue
Make sure all your cooking equipment is free from any oil or soap suds (egg whites don’t like oil and will not create glossy peaks). To clean your equipment, simply wipe it out with vinegar.
Egg sizes vary, so do make sure you measure the egg whites. When the mixture is stiff and glossy, the sugar should be completely dissolved. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumband forefinger to test–if it feels gritty, continue to whisk.
Our basic meringue is the perfect mixture of marshmallow centre and crisp exterior. We create this by the addition of vinegar only (no cornflour). However, if the weather is humid, or you are worried your pavlova will collapse, add 1 tsp cornflour to the vinegar before adding to your meringue. This will help keeps its structure in a humid climate.
What to do with your leftover egg yolks?
Egg yolks can be whisked with milk and stored to make scrambled eggs or omelettes. A good ratio to work off is 1 tbsp milk to 1 egg yolk. Egg yolks are also a key ingredient for custard. Make a batch ready to serve with festive sweets.
Egg yolks can be frozen for use at a later date. To freeze egg yolks, whisk 6 egg yolks with ¼ tsp table salt until smooth, andthen freeze. It is important to whisk them before freezing, otherwise they are gelatinous and unusable. The addition of salt helps breaks down the membrane that becomes gelatinous with freezing. Although salt has been added, they are still perfect for both sweet and savoury recipes.
Thaw in the refrigerator.
When baking, spoon pavlova mixture onto a greased lined oven tray, out to the size of the pre-marked circle. Allow 2cm extra space for it to grow in size.