Hi Nigella team, what's the difference between a meringue and a pavlova? I like the really crispy outside with a sticky centre not the marshmallow kind of centre.
A meringue is a mixture of whisked egg whites and sugar and a pavlova is a type of meringue. A crisp meringue is most usually a French meringue, where the egg whites are whisked and then caster sugar is incorporated. These meringues are baked at a low heat for a long time and effectively they are dried out rather than necessarily cooked. Nigella's Mini Pavlovas are slightly crisper and chewier than large pavlovas but not as crisp and crumbly as a French meringue.
Pavlovas have a marshmallow-like centre. They have cornflour (cornstarch) included in the mixture as this helps to give the centre its soft texture and they are usually cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter time. Nigella is a fan of pavlovas as they are quicker to bake than regular meringues, delicious to eat and look spectacular when loaded with whipped cream and other toppings. They can also be flavoured, such as the Cappuccino Pavlova. Nigella's Lemon Pavlova and Rose And Pepper Pavlova With Passionfruit And Strawberries are both very popular versions of this dessert.