Remember I gave a preview of what I was making Saturday night at the end of my Black Forest post? After the stressful experience I had at the GB Black Forest project, I made this easy pavlova just to boost up my confidence. I was worrying about the shape of the meringue when I saw it in the oven. Instead of a valley in the centre for holding the cream and fruit, I had a little hill. On day of friend's house-warming party, I couldn't go to pick up fresh fruits from store because we left the house late as usual. Luckily I had cream and some strawberries in my fridge.
This was how the pavlova looked like before I started to put any topping on. Rather square looking, isn't it? The crack on top is ok, seems like it's hollow inside when you look closely. It means the meringue has a thin crust.
You cannot put the cream on this dessert too early, otherwise the meringue will be softened. Not knowing if my friend had a mixer at her new house, I brought the hand mixer with me. I started to put the cream on, carefully not to put it too close to the edge. Don't want it to fall down on the side! Ok, cream is staying put. Now the strawberries. Few pieces by few pieces I added... "Crack!" the pavlova collapsed! haha. Ended up I didn't need to put a valley there when I baked the shell. So funny!
Thanks to my friends, one of them took this picture for me with his I-phone. Even though the resolution is low but it gives you exactly the same view I had when the weight of strawberries and cream brought the meringue down. You can see thickness of the crust after part of it fell to the centre.
I forgot to bring icing sugar to beat the cream with. Honestly I like it better this way because this dessert is way too sweet for me. Flavour of sugarless cream and sweet strawberries blended in with the meringue very well. This is the second post I have on pavlova. Last time I had 2-coloured fruits - raspberries and blueberries. Strawberries only looks good too. Since I saw some soft meringue residue on the parchment paper when I transferred it to the dessert tray, I thought this one was undercooked. It was not. Happy...
Last piece left! Well, my beloved husband had 3 servings.
Another friend took these sliced view and overview pictures of my pavlova. I have to post them all, otherwise he may not take pictures for me in the future :-)
This is the best pavlova recipe I've tried. You can adjust the sugar level to as low as 6.5 oz. Any amount lower may not give you the stiff peak when beating the egg whites. The meringue may not be baked properly that way.