It was an accident, Gov!On Wednesday night I was looking to make myself a little treat. I thought of meringue nests. I knew all I needed were egg whites and castor sugar, of which I had (eggs needed to be used up as they were going out of date). I looked on the ‘net for the correct ratio of sugar/egg and then saw that the oven had to be SO low to avoid burning it would take 1-2 HOURS to cook the meringue. There went my sweet snack for that night! I still wanted to make the meringue though, to use up the eggs, etc. So I planned to make them the next morning. One recipe I saw said you could cook the meringue for 10 mins, then turn the oven off and let them cool in the oven to finish off baking. Sounded a good idea to me! So I went for that one. I pre-heated the oven at Gas mark 3 and fluffed up 4 egg whites and a teaspoon of vanilla essence and slowly added 250gms of castor sugar. I didn’t realise it was going to make so much! It made TONNES. I’d scooped out about 10 or 12 meringue nests and still had loads left. So I lined a little sandwich tin with grease-proof paper and filled the sandwich tin with meringue. I left the oven on for about 20-25 minutes (had it on Gas mark 3 for the first 15 mins, then turned down to GM 2), then turned the oven off and let them finish cooking. Two hours later, I got all the meringue out of the oven. The nests had crispy tops, but fluffy innards. The shell had a crusty top and a spongy, soft bottom. I transfered the nests on to a plate, and put the shell on a plate, still on the grease-proof paper. I put both plates in the fridge. At this point I thought “the shell would make a GREAT pavlova base!” and decided to get Em to go to the supermarket and get some strawberries and cream to fill the shell. Later, I inverted the shell (so the crusty top was now a crusty base) on to the plate, added whipped cream, sliced strawberries and then sat four of the meringue nests on top. ZOMG! It was LOVELY! The meringue nests gave it a chewy top, then the shell was all spongy and fluffy in the middle and crusty on the bottom. Oh, it was just like pavs you get back home in Oz. NOT what is classified as pavlova here in the UK, with crunchy hard meringue all over and a few token bits of fruit and crappy bits of cream. It was the pavlova I’d been dreaming of for a LONG time, and all put together quite by accident. It was like an orgasm in a bowl! I just sat there savouring every spoonful. I can’t believe I actually made it!!