Make sure to use a completely dry mixing bowl, preferably made of metal or glass. Any trace of water or oils can ruin your meringue.
When separating your egg whites, if an egg breaks, put it aside for another use. Do not attempt to scoop out the yolk, as the slightest amount of yolk will prevent your egg whites from stiffening.
Room temperature egg whites beat up much better than cold ones do.
Pavlova should have a crisp outside shell and a soft, marshmallow-like inside. The starch and acid help achieve the correct texture. Also make sure to fully dry your meringue in the oven before removing it.
Make sure your sugar is fully incorporated into the beaten egg whites by rubbing a small bit of the mixture between your fingers to check for graininess. If the sugar is not fully dissolved, your meringue will “weep” (liquid will leak out of it).
Use chocolate pudding mix instead of vanilla for a chocolate filling, and garnish with chocolate shavings and chopped nuts, or use a lemon curd filling topped with blueberries and lemon rind.
Meringue and cream filling can both be prepared a day ahead, but the pavlova should be assembled as close as possible to serving, as the filling will soften the meringue shell.
Photography by Saraizel Senderovits