|Caster sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
Place egg whites in small bowl, beat with electric mixer on high speed for about 1 minute or until soft peaks form.
Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
Beat each addition of sugar until it is completely dissolved before adding the next spoonful.
Scrape any sugar grains down from side of bowl and from beaters several times.
The beating process will take about 10 minutes, depending on room temperature, humidity and size of egg whites.
Lightly grease an oven tray.
Sprinkle tray with a little plain flour, shake away excess flour.
Mark 18cm circle on tray; use plate or cake pan for this.
Scrape all the meringue into the circle.
Using spatula, carefully spread meringue to cover the circle on prepared tray, as shown.
Try to make side of meringue as straight as possible.
Make furrows up side, as shown.
Furrows add stability to pavlova while it is cooking.
Level top of pavlova.
Bake in very slow oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it feels dry and crisp.
Turn oven off, leave oven door ajar, cool pavlova in oven; this will take about an hour.
Using sharp knife, carefully cut around top edge of the pavlova.
Push crisp centre down gently so it rests on marsh-mallow in the middle; sometimes the centre will fall itself.
This makes room for the filling and fruit of your choice.