Here’s my favourite all time dessert. My wedding cake was a 3 tiered Pavlova, and in our family, it’s also the way we top off Christmas lunch and pretty much any celebration. I follow Delia Smith’s meringue recipe which never, ever fails, then keep it simple with a topping of whipped cream and summer berries. You might think the decorative twirls are a bit superfluous but oh no, they have two very important functions. Firstly, equality. Our kids will compare their portions to the millimetre to make sure they’ve got their fair share. One blob equals one portion, fair and square. And secondly, carb-counting. I rely on my ever-helpful Cook & Count app to calculate the overall carbs for this recipe, and dividing it into 8 accurately carb-counted portions is much easier with a twirl of meringue to guide you.
One more thing: don’t even think of trying to make a Pavlova with a fake sweetener or sugar substitute. Trust me, just don’t. I’ve learnt the hard way.
Ingredients (serves 8):
3 large egg whites
175g golden caster sugar
500g summer berries (any mix of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. In the winter I just use defrosted frozen berries)
300ml whipping cream
dusting of icing sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (I never use the fan oven for meringues)
- For the meringue, place the egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk them until they form stiff – but not too stiff – peaks (the kids love doing the ‘turn the bowl upside down’ test to check they are the right consistency).
- Start to whisk in the 175g sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each one until all the sugar is in.
- On a sheet of baking paper, draw a circle around a 20cm diameter plate. Take a metal tablespoon and smooth about two thirds of the meringue mixture within the circle.
- Then spoon 8 round blobs next to each other all around the edge. Using the tip of a cocktail stick, make little swirls in the meringue to form peaks. Pop the meringue in the oven, then immediately turn down the heat to 140°C, and leave it for 1 hour.
- Turn the heat right off but leave the meringue inside the oven until it’s completely cold. I usually leave it there overnight, and prepare the filling just before serving.
- To make the filling, simply whip the cream and smooth over the meringue, pile the berries on top, and sift a little icing sugar over the top.
26g per portion