A while back now I decided to make J. a pavlova for his birthday. I had planned a great 4 course dinner that would end with a pavlova as his birthday cake. When I moved to the US of A I had even packed tins of passionfruit nectar because on previous trips I had been unable to find any tins or real life passionfruit and pavlova isn’t the same without it.

Another note I should make is that you really need an electric mixer or whisk to make this. Many years ago when I was still trying to impress J. I made one with only a regular whisk and couldn’t use my arms for days after!

This is a recipe of a very old friend of my Mum’s and has always been called Tibby’s Pavlova, I wanted to keep the tradition. So with my new electric mixer in hand I got to work…

Preheat oven to 205 C. Beat 6 egg whites (room temperature) until they form stiff peaks. While beating the egg whites, gradually  add 1 cup of castor sugar, 1/2 cup sugar and a pinch of salt.

When the egg whites start forming peaks add 2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch), 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and a few drops of vanilla essences. Beat until everything is combined.

Cover a pizza tray or large cookie sheet with 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. I like to use a pizza tray because it helps be get the round shape. Gently spoon mixture onto the covered tray and smooth down. Mine was about 2-3 inches high.
Place in the preheated oven and reduce to the temperature to 120C. Cook 1 1/2 hours and then turn off oven and leave in oven till cold. This is very important because if you take it out before it is cool it will more than likely collapse completely.
You can top your pavlova with anything you want. J’s favorites are strawberries and passionfruit so that’s what I did for him. Traditionally you might find bananas, kiwi fruit or berries on top but it is fun to get creative and try out different things!
J. was very happy with his birthday feast and loved his pavalova birthday cake. It might become a bit of a tradition for his birthday every year!

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