Christmas is finally on its way and we are excited in anticipation of the best meal of the year... Christmas Lunch! (or Dinner, maybe even both) and of course the best part of the meal, dessert!
To make this your easiest year yet, our friends at My Food Bag have created some delicious festive menus, including plenty of Christmas classics, we teamed up to bring you inspiration for both your Christmas meal & table. We left the food to them stuck to what we know best and styled their Christmas Table. Dream team!
Making the perfect Pavlova is never as simple as it seems so we were lucky enough to get our hands on My Food Bag's Recipe and their tips and tricks to create the perfect pillowy cloud like Pavlova.
1. Room temperature eggs. Eggs are obviously the key ingredient in this fluffy dessert. We recommend size 7 eggs and you need to ensure they are at room temperature before beginning.
2. Caster sugar is always recommended. You need the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites, so the finer the sugar, the more likely it is to dissolve. If you don’t have any on hand, you can pop some normal sugar in the blender and pulse it for a few seconds to make it finer – but be careful not to go too far or you’ll be left with icing sugar which will not create the same meringue consistency.
3. Slurry for stability. There are many different recipes and variations available for pavlova, however, we’ve found the most stable version to have the slurry mix of water, vinegar, and cornflour which makes for a really nice and crispy exterior and a soft marshmallow interior.
4. Do not use fan bake to bake your pavlova as it can cook one side of the pavlova inconsistently. And, while every oven is different and we can’t prescribe for everyone, if you know your oven runs hot you may want to adjust the temperatures suggested in the recipe.
5. Pick your storage wisely. It’s always nice to alleviate the work needed on Christmas day, so we definitely recommend making your pavlova in advance. Once it’s cooled you can wrap the entire tray in clingfilm or pop the pavlova in a large airtight container. Store in the pantry until needed. Do not store pavlova in the fridge as the moisture will cause the sugar to weep out of the meringue and you will be left with a soggy mess!
My Food Bag’s Winning Pavlova Recipe
- 6 eggs
- 2 TB water
- 1 ½ tsp white vinegar
- 1 ½ TB cornflour
- 300g caster sugar
Before you Start
- Preheat oven to 160°C (do not use fan bake). Line three oven trays with baking paper.
- Separate egg whites from yolks. Place egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer) and use electric beaters to whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, 3-4 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine water measure, vinegar, cornflour and a pinch of salt, until smooth. Add to egg whites and whisk briefly to combine.
- Continue to whisk egg whites on medium speed, adding a tablespoon of caster sugar to the mix at a time; this should take about 10 minutes. Your meringue should look fluffy and silky.
- Line an oven tray with baking paper and draw a 22cm circle on it using a dinner plate as a stencil.
- Pile meringue onto baking paper inside your circle - it will be quite high.
- Use a dessert spoon to flatten the top slightly, then use the spoon to make swoops on the side of the pav, starting from the bottom, sweep up towards the top on a slight angle. Smooth out the top again until you're happy with the design.
- Turn oven down to 100°C and bake pavlova for 1 hour 45 minutes. DO NOT open the door during this time.
- Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven to cool completely. Do this for 2 hours minimum, or overnight if possible.
- Once completely cooled, the pavlova can be stored in an airtight container.
- Add toppings when ready to serve.