How to make pavlova

Pavlovas are festive fare, but don't save them just for summer. Follow our easy guide to mastering this classic. 

1. Room temperature is best 

Egg whites at room temperature hold more volume when whipped than chilled egg whites, so remove the eggs from the fridge 1 hour before you begin.

Six eggs in a bowl

2. Draw a guide on baking paper

For a perfectly round pavlova, trace around a 20cm plate on baking paper, then turn the baking paper over. Use the circle as a guide when shaping the pavlova.

Tracing around a 20cm plate on baking paper

3. Pump up the volume

To help the meringue mixture hold its shape while baking, add cream of tartar to the egg whites before whisking. This acts as a stabiliser for egg whites.

Egg whites being whisked in an electric mixer

4. Add the sugar gradually

To help the sugar dissolve completely, add it 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk it into the egg white for 1-2 mins before adding another tablespoon.

Adding sugar to the electric mixer

5. Test if the sugar is dissolved

Undissolved sugar will make a pavlova ‘weep’ during baking. Test the mixture with your fingers – if you can feel granules, whisk for another 5 mins, then test again.

Testing mixture with fingers to see if sugar is dissolved

6. Let it cool in the oven

A sudden drop in temperature can crack the hot pavlova. Prop the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon and leave the pavlova to cool gradually.

Proping the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon