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Berry Pavlova with Hibiscus Syrup

Ingredients

Syrup:

4 cups water

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (40 gr)

1 stick whole cinnamon

2 cups sugar

Pavlova:

3 egg whites, room temperature

7/8 cup sugar (175 gr)

1 tsp. white vinegar (5 ml)

1 tsp. corn starch (2 gr)

Filling:

2 cups heavy whipping cream (480 ml)

2 tbsp. sugar (25 gr)

Approximately 1 lb. (500gr) mixed berries, with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries,

Instructions

Heat your oven to 275°F (140°C) for 15 minutes.

To make the pavlova, place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip the egg whites, adding a spoonfuls of the sugar as the whites whip. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, the eggwhites should become quite stiff, but should not have a rough appearance. Stop the mixer when the whites are very firm, about 3-4 minutes.

Mix together the vinegar and cornstarch so that it is a thick liquid, and add to the whites. Whip for 5-10 seconds more, blending well.

Cut a square of parchment paper, and trace an 8″ circle (20-21 cm) onto the paper (I find this easiest to do by tracing around my mixing bowl) Spoon the pavlova mixture onto the parchment, following the pencil circle as your guide. Leave a hollow potion in the middle of the pavlova.

Place the pavlova in the oven, and lower the temperature to 250°F (130°C). Bake for 1 hour, and then turn the oven off, allowing the oven to cool, and the pavlova to dehydrate for about 2-3 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the Hibiscus Syrup, place the water, hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Strain the tea by filtering the liquid using a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter, to remove all of the smaller leaf particles. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.

Return the tea to the saucepan, and add the sugar. Bring to a boil again, and allow to gently simmer for 5 minutes, until the syrup is thick, and the sugar completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the Hibiscus Syrup, place the water, hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Strain the tea by filtering the liquid using a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter, to remove all of the smaller leaf particles. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.

Return the tea to the saucepan, and add the sugar. Bring to a boil again, and allow to gently simmer for 5 minutes, until the syrup is thick, and the sugar completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow to cool completely.

Once the pavlova shell and syrup are ready, assemble the pavlova right before serving.

Whip the heavy cream with sugar, until stiff, but soft peaks form. Rinse the berries, and pat dry well.

Place the cooled pavlova shell on a serving dish, and fill with the cream, spreading the cream evenly across the hollow middle. Arrange the berries on top of the cream.

Serve the pavlova immediately, garnishing with the Hibiscus syrup at the table, or allow each guest to add the syrup to their individual plate.