Why did my Pavlova meringue base go up

What's the best way to make a great Pavlova base?

The secrets: (Some are stories of old women, but hey it's an old recipe)

Eggs: room temperature (you don't put eggs in the fridge, do you?) And not fresh

Contamination: Make sure anything you use to prepare the base is perfectly clean, especially no grease. Use boiling water to rinse everything first. Metal or glass bowls are best because plastic is more difficult to get 100% clean. Also, make sure that no yolks get into the egg whites

Whipping: When the egg whites have set, add the sugars one at a time using a powerful whipping machine that runs at full speed. The New Zealanders use their trustworthy but ancient Kenwood chef for ten minutes with the glass bowl until it looks like the Swiss Alps on a sunny day. You shouldn't be able to feel the castor sugar if you crush a mixture between your fingers. If you get bored, you have excelled. They will still work, but will get especially moist when cooked when the sugar runs out

Size: height = radius or a little less. A radius of less than 10 cm means you won't get a pav, just meringue. You can experiment with parchment paper rings to keep the mixture in a perfect cake pan if you're fussy. But I wouldn't care

Problems:

  • Collapse: You opened the oven door ... NOT
  • Cracking: normal, don't worry. This is a messy desert and you will soon be covering it with whipped cream!
  • Crystallization: boiling over
  • Marshmallow like in the middle: Normal, that's how a pav should be. If it doesn't, then you boiled it over or you didn't make it thick enough. Foamed protein is a self-insulator. Once the outside is boiling, the heat will no longer reach the center
  • Crying: too much sugar, too much or too little cooked. Cook a little longer on damp days

If you're really stuck, take a course at http://www.creativetourism.co.nz/workshops_taste_pav.html

This is what they should look like