7 large egg whites
Pinch cream tartar
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
Edible flowers, to decorate, optional
300mL thickened cream
1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
4 Cavendish or Sugar Bananas, sliced
Preheat oven to 130 C fan-forced. Draw a 25cm circle on a sheet of non-stick baking paper and place, marked side down on a large greased baking tray.
Pour the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar, whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy. Beat on high speed a further 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, whisk 30 seconds. Fold in the cornflour.
Drop 12 heaped spoonfuls of the meringue on the tray around the inside of the circle to create a wreath shape. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until crisp to the touch. Turn the oven off, leave the pavlova to cool completely in the oven with the door closed (this may take 4 hours, so cook the day ahead.)
Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the mascarpone. Dollop 2 tablespoons caramel sauce over the cream mixture and gently swirl.
Just before serving, place the pavlova wreath on a serving plate. Top with the caramel cream and sliced banana. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce. Scatter over the flowers. Serve.
On a warm Summer’s day store the untopped pavlova in a cool dry place and top just before serving.
Credits: Australian Bananas