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Valentine's Day Pavlova

Servings: 6

Definition: [pav-LOH-vuh] Hailing from Australia, this famous dessert is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It consists of a crisp meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit such as strawberries, passion fruit and kiwi. A pavlova is usually served with fruit sauce or additional whipped cream.

Making the pavlova in a heart shape is perfect for a special Valentine's Day dessert.

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons cornflour

Whipped cream
Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, passion fruit, sliced kiwi, berries, grapes, melon balls or any other fruit of your choice

Preheat oven to 200-225 degrees F/93-107 degrees C.

With a pen or pencil, draw a 7 1/2 to 8-inch heart or circle on baking paper (parchment paper) and place paper on baking sheet or jelly roll pan.

Place egg whites and salt in a bowl, and beat until peaks just fold over when the beater is removed. Beat in sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff. Beat in vanilla extract, vinegar and cornflour.

Shape mixture inside the heart or circle on baking paper.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the surface is crisp and lightly colored.

Cool on a rack. Chill in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Remove from refrigerator and top with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

1). Pavlova can be made several days ahead and stored in an airtight container until required.

2). If you store eggs in the refrigerator, remove them and allow them to come to room temperature before you whisk the whites to make meringue, as they are easier to whisk at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: January 11, 2003