Food talk: Pavlova wreath

The Taree Community Kitchen has been a place of welcome in the Manning district since it first opened its doors five years ago. In that time, thanks to generous volunteers and donors, the kitchen has served 50,000 meals.

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning manages the grassroots operation, which is committed to providing a festive meal to help patrons celebrate the Advent season.

In the days leading up to Christmas, the Community Kitchen will serve pavlova adorned with berries that reflect the Advent colours of pink and purple.

The kitchen’s volunteers have shared the recipe below, and hope that you too will find the gift in giving this Christmas. ​​​​​​​

Pavlova Wreath


​​​​​​​4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
300ml cream
200g strawberries
200g raspberries
200g blueberries



Preheat oven to 120°C and grease a large oven tray (a round tray works best).

On a sheet of baking paper, draw a 23cm circle (you might like to use a plate to help). Then draw a second 13cm circle inside. Place the paper on the tray.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. It’s important there are no traces of egg yolk, and that the bowl is dry before starting.

Add sugar a spoonful at a time, ensuring it is dissolved before adding another spoonful. Once all the sugar has been added and the mixture is thick and glossy, add cornflour and vanilla. Beat briefly, until just combined.

Using the pencil marks as a guide, scoop large spoonfuls of meringue onto the tray to form a wreath shape. Then, using the back of a spoon, make small indentations along the top of the wreath – this will help later, when adding cream and berries.

Place the tray in the oven for 1½ hours, then turn the oven off. Following this, prop the oven door open slightly and leave the meringue to cool completely.

Meanwhile, whip the cream until it becomes thickened.

Once the meringue is cool, remove it from the oven and using a knife, gently separate it from the baking paper and slide it onto a serving plate. ​​​​​​​

Place the cream on top and decorate with fresh berries. You may choose to use other fruit, but the berries are seasonal and look nice and festive.

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