Make the perfect pavlova every time with this easy pavlova recipe with step-by-step photos. Tips on how to make a pavlova with a crisp meringue shell and soft and chewy marshmallow centre.
For the pavlova
For the topping
MAKE IT IN ADVANCE
I recommend making the pavlova the night before serving, or in the morning if you plan on serving it later in the evening. This will give the pavlova plenty of time to cool and dry in the oven for the perfect crisp meringue shell and slightly chewy centre.
CRISP & CHEWY VS SOFT & MARSHMALLOWY
Some people like their pavlova to be crisp on the outside with a slightly chewy centre. Others like their pavlova to be only slightly crisp on the outside, but soft and marshmallowy on the inside. I belong to the first group. If you fall into the latter group, bake your pavlova for only about 45 minutes to 1 hour, and leave it to cool in the oven for only a few hours. Shaping a tall pavlova will also help to create a softer interior.
MAKE A WHITE PAVLOVA
The above recipe will produce a lightly-coloured pavlova. To make a white pavlova, and which will have a thin, crispy shell and a marshmallow centre:
* Omit the vanilla;
* Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (300°F);
* Bake the pavlova at 110°C.
DECORATE AT THE LAST MINUTE
Although I recommend baking the pavlova in advance, you should only decorate the pavlova at the last minute. Once the cream is placed on the pavlova, it will start to soften the pavlova and add weight, and your pavlova might collapse soon after.
MAKE ETON MESS
If something goes wrong and your pavlova collapses into a flat pancake once cooled, don’t despair – your pavlova will still taste great. Simply crumble the pavlova into a large serving bowl, stir through the whipped cream and passionfruit and you will have something similar to an Eton Mess (which is traditionally made with whipped cream and strawberries).
PAVLOVA FOR 4 TO 6 PEOPLE
To make a slightly larger pavlova, I recommend the following recipe:
4 egg whites
240 g (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
OVEN TEMPERATURES All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
CONVERSIONS To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.