Strawberry matcha pavlova

Adam Liaw
Strawberry matcha pavlova.
Strawberry matcha pavlova. Photo: William Meppem

This pavlova is about as simple as it gets, and the perfect Christmas colour combination. It's not just about good looks, though. The bitterness of green tea really helps offset the sweetness.

Ingredients

• 6 egg whites

• 1½ cups (330g) caster sugar

• 1 tbsp cornflour

• ¼ tsp cream of tartar

For the topping

• 300g thickened cream

• seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

• 2 punnets strawberries

• 1 tbsp matcha powder (available from Asian grocers)

Method

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks using a stand mixer. Start adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until glossy. About halfway through adding the sugar, stir the cornflour and cream of tartar into the sugar and continue adding. Beat for a further 5 minutes after all the sugar has been added. The whole process should take about 15 minutes and you should not be able to feel any grains of sugar when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Spread the pavlova on a baking tray in scoops with a spatula, moving from the centre only to create a natural edge on the pavlova. Smooth the top. Heat your oven to 110°C. Bake for 1½ hours, then allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.

For the topping, whip the cream and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Top the pavlova with the cream, scatter with strawberries and dust with the green tea just before serving

Adam's tip The secret to making a great pav is ensuring the sugar is dissolved into the meringue. Sugar helps stabilise a meringue so it won't crack, sink or weep. But don't worry, a little cracking, sinking and weeping is okay. And that goes for hosts and pavlovas both!