In my experience, everyone has something they can’t cook. One of the most accomplished cooks I ever knew, could not bake.

I have a epic problem with key lime pie that I really need to deal with at some point. It’s so bad my friends have been known to send me recipes in the post that might work. (yes they do love me and they express that affection with mockery – we’re English, it’s what we do!) Until about 10 years ago, meringue was my nemesis or as we sometimes refer to it in this house ‘that greek chap’ (it’s a Georgette Heyer joke from Friday’s Child).

But eventually I conquered that fear and I made a perfect pavlova. In fact, I make it for family lunches all the time because in my experience if you find something that your family will eat, you just keep doing it. My brother still can’t say pavlova (pavilova) but everyone eats it.

So this is what I made for Ben’s birthday last Sunday. With flakes because went Ben and I were talking about fruit he misheard grape as flake and I may never let him forget it!

The basic rule is 60g of sugar to 1 egg white. You are supposed to use caster sugar but honestly as part of being casual about it now, I just use granulated

So first line your baking sheet with baking parchment and start your oven to preheat to 150C

Then take 3 egg whites and beat them until they form peaks that look like this.

Then add 180g sugar (caster for preference but I use what I have) and beat it some more, the books always say stiff peaks but mine look like this (it’s a poor photo but you get the idea)Put you mixture out on your baking tray, in a circle and in the oven for about 50 minutes You can just turn your oven off at this point and leave it there until it’s cool (don’t do what I did once and turn the oven up not off – I was not joking about it being something I couldn’t do!) or take it out to allow it to cool. Don’t worry about the cracks, your going to cover it with cream and fruit, no one will notice!


About nicdempsey

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