Meringues with
Whipped Cream

First 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" variation.

    3 large egg whites
    Pinch cream of tartar
    4 cups confectioners' sugar
    6 tablespoons boiling water
    3 tablespoons white vinegar
    1 tablespoon colorless vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon baking powder

    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      
     one tablespoon at a time, beating extremely well after each
     addition until meringue completely regains form.

5.  Finally, quickly beat in baking powder.

6.  Line an extra large baking tray or 2 smaller ones set side by       
     side, with 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     
     right hand, start to squeeze meringue and pipe in a circular   
     motion to the right. Continue after completing a circle. Top  
     with another 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.

     Variation: Make Pavlova by topping a tutu shaped meringue
     with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Diced mango, sliced kiwi
     and strawberries  are wonderful in a vanilla syrup. Then order
     4 (115 gram) cans grenadilla/passion fruit pulp from Protea
     Imports. Strain 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