made by Chef Gasparini in 1720 and named after the Swiss village of Meiringen,
meringues are very popular in Australia, Portugal, Chile and France. They are
best made on a cool day as humidity will cause beading—little droplets of
moisture which sit on the meringue. The secret to mixing the perfect meringue is
the patience with which the ingredients are incorporated. The addition of all
the sugar and then all the liquid will render the meringue useless and leave a
soupy mixture which must be throw out. First beat the egg whites on high speed
until firm peaks form—then, and only then—should the sugar be added in small
additions, followed by the liquids in even smaller additions. Make these a day
ahead for the best results. Pavlova is a classic Australian dessert named after
Anna Pavlova (Russian ballerina 1881-1931). She was well known for her
performance in The Dying Swan ballet. See the "swan meringue"
3 large egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
4 cups confectioners'
6 tablespoons boiling
3 tablespoons white
1 tablespoon colorless
1 tablespoon baking
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1. Preheat the oven to 240°.
2. In a deep mixing bowl, break
eggs, divide yolk from white.
Freeze egg yolks
if you want to use them later. Beat whites on
high speed until
soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar and beat
until stiff peaks
form when beaters are lifted.
3. Measure sugar into a small bowl.
Add sugar in ⅛ cup additions
while beating on
egg whites on high speed.
4. Mix water, vinegar and vanilla
in small bowl. Add mixture
at a time, beating extremely well after each
meringue completely regains form.
5. Finally, quickly beat in baking
6. Line an extra large baking tray
or 2 smaller ones set side by
baking parchment. Insert a size 847 decorating tube
into a piping
bag or a resealable plastic bag with a small part of
one corner cut
off. Place the bag, nozzle tip down, into a tall glass.
Fold the top of
the bag over glass. Scoop meringue into bag.
When full, fold
top, then squeeze out air.
7. Holding bag straight with your
left hand and holding top with
start to squeeze meringue and pipe in a circular
motion to the
right. Continue after completing a circle. Top
circle then end with a point.
8. Bake in a preheated 240° oven 1
hour. Reduce heat to 200°,
bake 30 minutes.
Turn oven off and leave in oven overnight.
9. Serve with whipped cream and a
sprinkle of nonpareils.
Make Pavlova by topping a tutu shaped meringue
with fresh fruit
and whipped cream. Diced mango, sliced kiwi
are wonderful in a vanilla syrup. Then order
4 (115 gram) cans
grenadilla/passion fruit pulp from Protea
the puree, sweeten to taste and float the swan.
in the passion
fruit sauce. A question mark meringue makes a
swan neck and head
you can attach with whipped cream.
Makes meringues of all sizes and shapes