After a snap poll of Standard Issue staffers, we came to the conclusion everyone has a signature dish they’re willing to brag about. Cariad Lloyd reckons her pavlova can’t be beaten. Looking at the photos, it’s hard to argue.
Name: Cariad Lloyd
I Make the Best…. Pavlova
Fuller dish description: Raspberry and passion fruit pavlova
When did you first make it? When I was a teenager, my mum taught me how to make it for a family do. I ate 90 per cent of it.
When did you realise it was the best? (and who has certified it as such?) After I’d eaten most of it, I realised I had a gift for pavlova. My family confirmed this by fighting over the leftovers. My reign as Queen Pavlova was established when my brother and I had an actual fight one Christmas, as he had eaten the last bit.*
*If you did not cook it, you have no rights to the last slice until the chef has declined their slice rights.
How often do you make it? Any time I need to make a pudding and don’t have much time. It’s quick and everyone loves pavlova. If you don’t like pavlova, I can only assume you are someone who thinks cheese is an acceptable dessert. We are not going to help each other.
Have you ever tasted anyone else’s version of this, which had you worried? Yes, my auntie Sue, who lives in New Zealand. It was the biggest pav I’ve ever seen: soft, light, airy. But like the past, New Zealand is a foreign country and you can’t always go back there.
Is this the only thing you make well? I make anything that contains over 500g of sugar well.
6 egg whites (get decent free-range eggs)
300g caster sugar (add a vanilla pod to a jar of sugar and leave for a week or so to make this even more amazing)
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar
A few drops of vanilla essence (if you’re a sweet hound)
Pot of whipping cream (150g-ish)
2 packs of raspberries (about 300g)
1 passion fruit
A dusting of icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Get a big flat baking tray ready by putting some baking parchment on it and placing near you to save a panic later.
2. Separate the egg whites. This seems hard but it isn’t. Crack the egg open carefully, drop most of the white into a bowl then put the rest into your (clean) hands. The white should slip through your fingers, leaving you with a yolk, which you then plop in a different bowl.
If you’re scared, do this over a separate bowl each time and then pour the white into your main bowl. Your mission is to get absolutely no egg yolk into your main egg white bowl. People say save the yolks for custard, but you’ll put them in the fridge and forget about them, just be prepared for that.
3. Whisk those whites.
4. Keep whisking. Use an electric whisk, it’s not the Blitz.
5. Whisk until they form ‘stiff peaks’. This just means, when you lift the whisk out of the whites it forms a big pointy blob and stays there. You’ll need to whisk for about five-ish minutes, so keep going till you’re sure they are stiff (eyebrow raise).
6. Measure out 300g of sugar and whisk this into your egg whites, a teaspoon at a time. A teaspoon, gurl. Don’t be rushing this, don’t be thinking you can just thwack it in. You can’t. This bit should make your arm hurt from whisking.
7. In a little dish, mix the cornflour and the malt vinegar. Yes, actual fish and chip vinegar. No, I don’t understand why either, but this is what makes it go all chewy and soft. I don’t know how – do not question the ways of pav. Make sure it’s mixed into a paste.
8. Add this to the egg whites. Carefully fold it in with a metal spoon. Stir this gently in – you don’t want to knock the air out, be cool. You can add a few drops of vanilla essence here too, if you want.
9. Spoon onto your baking sheet. I just make it roughly as big as I want it to be. You can mark it out with a plate beforehand, if you can be bothered. Make the sides are higher than the middle, so your fruit has a flatish base to sit on.
10. Put it in the oven for an hour. It will go goldenish brown. It’s not your classic pav white but it will taste a lot better than a supermarket one.
11. Let it cool once it’s out.
12. Whisk the whipping cream. Plonk on top of pav, spread it out a bit. Bung the raspberries on, sprinkle the passion fruit over, and add a few mint leaves if you feel fancy. If you want more sweet you can dust over a little icing sugar using a sieve.
13. Try to get it onto a plate.
14. Give up, bring oven tray to table, everyone helps themselves.
15. Put a bit in the fridge for later.
16. Eat that sweet, sweet joy at 11pm when everyone else has gone home.
Find out what our other contributors make best of all here.
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Cariad is a comedian, actor, improviser and writer. Her dream is to one day pay off her student loan and to finally find the perfect concealer. @ladycariad