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One of my favourite desserts when topped with freshly whipped cream and fruit is the iconic Australian dessert - pavlova. If you have a great pavlova recipe it is quite easy to shape it into whatever shape you like. In my case, I went for the letter P for pavlova (so original!) but you could make it in any letter, number or shape that you desire. I can't wait to make a Christmas tree version!
To create the shape I wanted I used one of our large cookie templates (available here) and popped it underneath the baking mat so that I could roughly sculpt the spooned pavlova mixture to this shape. All of our cookie templates are wide enough to get a great shaped pavlova with plenty of room to decorate it. Don't forget to slide out the template before baking in the oven. Read on for the full recipe and instructions.
I used a recipe from my nan's CWA recipe book for this pavlova. I've never had this recipe let me down.
Whites of 4 eggs
Pinch of salt
8 ozs / 225 grams caster (superfine) sugar
1 dessertspoon cornflour
2 teaspoons vinegar
Preheat your oven to 130°C / 266°F.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to a stiff froth. Gradually whisk in the sugar, whisking until all sugar is dissolved and the mixture forms stiff peaks. Fold in the sifted cornflour and then the vinegar.
On a cookie sheet, put your cookie cake template underneath your silicone baking mat or baking/ parchment paper so you can see the outline of the shape you wish to make.
Carefully spoon the mixture within the outline of the shape you wish to create.
Using a cake spatula or similar, carefully move the mixture to the shape you desire while smoothing the top of the pavlova. Pull the sides up with the spatula to create small peaks on the sides and a bit of a well on the top surface of the pavlova for the cream to sit in when decorating.
Slide your template out from between your cookie sheet and your baking mat or parchment paper so you don't accidentally bake it.
Put your pavlova into the oven and reduce the temperature to 120°C / 250°F. Bake for 2 hours and then leave in the oven for at least another 2 hours to cool or preferably overnight. During the cooking time check that the pavlova isn't cooking too quickly. If it is browning or changing to a dark beige colour too quickly turn down the oven temperature. The pavlova when baked should be a light beige colour. When cooled it should be crisp on the outside with a marshmallow-soft centre.
Carefully move your pavlova to a serving platter. You might need to use a couple of large egg turners or a cake lifter to carefully move your pavlova off the baking tray.
Top with freshly whipped cream and toppings of your choice. I love passionfruit, strawberries, kiwi fruit, raspberries and blueberries. For this one, I used passionfruit and blueberries.
I hope you enjoy this pavlova just as much as I did.
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