I have a bit of a reputation when it comes to pavlova. My secret ingredient is duck eggs something we typically have in plentiful supply. Duck eggs are larger than hen eggs and the whites are a little thicker. Many people prize duck eggs for cake and biscuit baking, but we also eat them scrambled and for omelettes and quiche. 

Fresh eggs are best for pavlova. Allow the eggs to come to room temperature and you will find it easier to separate the whites from the yolks. They will also whip more quickly. It usually takes me about hour of beating to incorporate all the caster sugar into the egg whites, so it helps if you have a free standing mixing rather than a hand beater.

●  9 duck eggs
●  500gm caster sugar
●  2 tablespoons cornflour (use a quality brand made from corn, not wheat)
●  2 teaspoon vanilla extract
●  1 tablespoon vinegar

Separate the eggs and place the whites into a freshly washed mixing bowl. The mixing bowl must have not traces of oil or butter. Beat the whites until they form peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time. Test to see that all the sugar has been incorporated by tasting the mix or rubbing a little between your fingers. It should be feel completely smooth. Use a spatula to fold in the sifted cornflour, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pour the mixture on to a tray covered with baking paper or an oven bag. You can cut open the oven bag to ensure it covers the tray. Do not use foil as it will stick to the base of the pavlova. Place the mix in a circle about the size of a dinner plate. It should have vertical sides and be flat on top. Place the pavlova into an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees Celsius, but immediately turn the oven down to around 120 degrees when you place the pavlova inside the oven. Cook for two hours. The yolks left over from this recipe can be used to make a delicious rich custard to have with the pavlova. You can make this recipe successfully with fresh hen eggs or a mix of duck and hen eggs, but the pavlova will be smaller.

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