pavlova topped with cream and macerated balsamic strawberries (leave out the balsamic for plain macerated strawberries)

The result of this recipe is the divine combination of a crusty pavlova outside with a pillow soft centre – harmony in your mouth! The quantities and general method for this pavlova base are from Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion. A great thing about pavs is that you can make the base the day or night before and hold off on the topping just before you serve. This recipe has never failed me. Except for the time I left it on top of my car. 

The balsamic vinegar does an excellent job of cutting through the cream and sugar - perfect if you are not a massive sweet tooth.

4 egg whites (at room temperature)

pinch of salt

250 g castor sugar

1 tsp of apple cider vinegar (original recipe uses white, but I find apple cider is not as sharp)

2 tsp corn flour

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (this is better than extract in the original recipe, it has a richer flavour and the seeds look nice through the pavlova. You could also use 1 vanilla bean and leave the case in your sugar to add a subtle vanilla flavour as it is not needed to steep (like when you would make a custard))


300 ml cream, firmly whipped

macerated balsamic strawberries:

1 1/2 punnets (365g) fresh strawberries

1 tbs castor sugar

1 tbs balsamic vinegar


Set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place baking paper on a baking tray. You can measure out and draw a circle (20 cm) or rectangle equivalent to indicate where the pavlova mixture will go – I have never have.

Using a mixer, or large bowl and whisk, beat or whisk the eggs and salt until satiny peaks form.

While still beating, add in the sugar one-third at a time.

Keep beating until the mixture is silky and peaks are stiff.


Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla. Carefully fold through with a spatula.

Organise the mixture into a mound of the desired shape (rectangle or circle) on the baking paper. Flatten top and smooth sides. It sits about 3 cm high.


Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150 degrees Celsius.

Cook at this heat for 30 minutes.

Turn down to 120 degrees Celsius and cook for a further 45 minutes.

Then turn off the oven and leave pavlova in there to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the macerated balsamic strawberries, finely slice the strawberries.

Place in a bowl.

Sprinkle 1 tbs castor sugar and 1tbs of balsamic vinegar over them. Toss.

Leave for 15 minutes.

Place on your serving plate (same side up – don’t invert) and top with cream and macerated balsamic strawberries.

Original post:

Published by Zoe Crichton