- 9 large egg whites
- 600g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp white wine or malt vinegar
To assemble and serve
- 400ml double cream
- 75g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g mixed berries, plus a handful extra for the top
Heat oven to 120C/100C fan/gas ½. Draw three circles, 20cm, 16cm and 12cm on baking parchment (a compass is really good for this). Flip the paper onto baking sheets, so the pen is underneath.
Whisk whites until stiff peaks form on the ends of the electric whisk. Tip in a quarter of the sugar, whisk back to stiff, then repeat once adding the cornflour and vinegar, before folding in remaining sugar. Spoon the mixture into the circles, shaping to fill, smoothing the centre but leaving the edges rough. Bake for 30 mins then turn down to 100C/80C fan/gas ¼ and cook for 1½ hrs more – they will peel away from the parchment when done. Cool in oven with the door slightly ajar. Meringues will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Whip cream with the icing sugar and vanilla, drop in the berries and fold just once or twice. Chill for up to 24 hrs until ready to assemble – the Pavlovas are best assembled no more than 1 hr before serving.
Peel the meringues completely from paper and stack on a serving plate, layering with cream. Arrange a few more berries on top, then dust with icing sugar.
Dot small spoons of cream on each Pavlova. Gently stack from largest to smallest on your serving plate. Dust with a little icing sugar, then serve with remaining cream and berries on the side. (Adding berries and more cream to the layers will make them too heavy when there are so many to stack.)
Want a cake to cut?
Here’s how to make just one dramatic, centrepiece cake that will double as dessert for around 40 guests, and can be assembled in the morning. Make the meringue recipe and shape into 23cm, 20cm and 17cm circles. Bake as above, then make a second batch and shape into 26cm, 14cm, 11cm and 8cm circles, again baking as above. Multiply the vanilla cream by 4 and berries by 6, but don’t mix.