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Hints for making the perfect Pavlova
· When separating the yolk from the egg white, be careful that the yolk is completely removed from the egg whites. Not even the tiniest amount of yolk should be left behind. The fat content in the yolks inhibits the egg whites to foam properly. Be careful to break each egg separately in a small bowl and then add it to the rest of the eggs or mixing bowl.
· Use a small, deep, steel bowl for beating egg whites. Make sure the bowl is cold, just put the bowl in the freezer for about a minute. The cold bowl helps in beating the egg whites to a nice volume. The bowl should be very clean, dry and completely grease free when beating egg whites.
· Egg whites should always be beaten at the highest speed on the electric mixer.
· When the egg whites look glossy and have a thick texture with soft peaks, then add the sugar. If sugar is added to egg whites which have been beaten dry, it is more difficult to incorporate the sugar in them.
· Always use castor sugar as compared to granulated sugar. Castor sugar dissolves more readily.
· When adding sugar to the egg whites add 1 tbs at a time and let it completely dissolve before adding the other. You can feel the sugar grains by rubbing a tiny quantity between your finger tips to check if the sugar has been completely dissolved. From time to time, scrape the side of the bowl with a spatula to remove any sugar left behind.
· To ensure the complete mixing of the sugar with the egg whites, the approximate beating time should be 10 minutes.
· Pavlovas can be baked directly on an oven tray which have been greased and floured or on baking paper or foil.
· Meringues should always be cooled with the oven door slightly ajar to allow slow and proper cooling. Too fast a cooling process will crack the meringue.
· Unfilled pavlovas can be stored in airtight containers. Fill and garnish the pavlovas approximately 1 hour before serving.