Individual pavlovas make great party food. This recipe yields a lot of meringues that can be made days ahead and stored in an airtight container. The secret to meringue is drying it out rather than actually cooking it, so use a low temperature and allow a long resting time in the residual heat once the oven has been turned off.
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Splash some water on 2 baking trays, then cover with non-stick baking paper - the water will stop the paper sliding around.
- In a large bowl, place the egg whites and tiny pinch of salt and beat until the whites form soft peaks - the mixture should hold its shape without being stiff.
- Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition. When all the sugar has been added, fold in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence.
- Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle or into a plastic bag with one corner snipped off, and pipe the meringue into smallish mounds approximately 7cm diameter. Use a bread and butter knife to scoop a hollow into the middle of each one and place the trays in the oven.
- Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 140C and bake the pavlovas for 30 minutes - they should have the palest tint of beige. If they are browning too much, reduce the temperature to 130C.
- When cooked, turn the oven off but leave the trays in the oven for 2 hours or overnight to completely dry out.
- To serve, whip the cream to soft peaks and place a small spoonful of cream into the centre of each pavlova. Top with sliced kiwifruit or strawberry, some passionfruit pulp or berry purée. Serve immediately.