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It has circles on it every time I try to make it. And sometimes it just won't dry - it's soft; it doesn't really crack like I hope it would! It always sinks and the bottom is kinda sticky and dark brownish.

pavlova pavlova

(click for full size)

Here's the recipe I used this time:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 3/4 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

I baked it at 150C for 1 and 1/4 hours. I have a small oven. What did I do wrong? Would beating the mixture longer help?

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  • Hello Frozen Heaven, welcome to the site. It's an excellent idea to show the photos, because we can easily see what you are talking about. Could you perhaps add (click on "edit") your recipe and what temperature you bake at? I have a hunch, but need some more information. Is the color of the photos correct? – Stephie Dec 20 '14 at 17:06
  • @Stephie Yes, the colour is correct. I guess it's too brown? Should I lower the temperature? :O – Frozen Heaven Dec 20 '14 at 17:59
  • Here's a good Q/A on Pavlovas: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/9860/… – Stephie Dec 20 '14 at 21:38
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A pavlova is similar to a meringue. (The additional starch and vinager change the texture a bit, but not the preparation).

The key to baking a pavlova is not baking it. You want it to dry, rather than bake.

What does this mean here?

  • If it turns brown, the heat is too high. (A very slight tinge is ok...) Especially with a smallish oven, the heat elements or oven walls might be too close or hotter than your thermostat setting. Also, oven thermometers are notoriously incorrect - and 30° can be a major difference here. You could invest in a good oven thermometer, but I'd probably just use a lower setting next time and see what happens.
  • If its sticky, there is too much humidity left. This might be due to you using a small oven. You want to keep the oven door slightly ajar to let the water "escape" after baking. Normally you shouldn't open the door while baking due to the risk of the pavlova collapsing, but I'd probably try leaving it slightly ajar (like for meringue) once, just out of curiosity...

Would longer beating help? I can't say as I don't know how long you are beating now. But this link describes the desired texture quite nicely.

As far as the rings are concerned: No idea, sorry. (Perhaps beating time...)

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