Hi, I am from Malaysia, however my kitchen is at a cooling air-con temperature of 23C. I followed the Mini Pavlova recipe. After baked, it looks fine, the outer exterior is crispy, however inside is sticky, chewy and sticks to the teeth. Is it suppose to be like this? From my understanding, the centre of a pavlova is supposed to be more to mashmallowy?
Pavlovas, such as Nigella's Mini Pavlovas (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) should have a soft, slightly marshmallowy interior. However pavlovas, like most meringues, are very affected by humidity as the sugar in the mixture attracts moisture. So although you have an air conditioned kitchen it could still have a fair amount of moisture in the air, even at a cooler temperature, and we suspect that this may be the reason that the insides of the pavlovas are sticky. Also in humid conditions the meringues will soften very quickly when stored.
If you have found some drops of caramelised sugar or sugar syrup on the edges of the meringue after baking then the sugar was not dissolved properly in the egg white and this could be another reason for the sticky texture. Make sure that you use a fine sugar, such as caster sugar or superfine sugar. You may prefer to try a larger meringue for a pavlova as for the larger meringues it is slightly easier to get more of a marshmallowy texture in the centre. We suggest trying Nigella's Lemon Pavlova or the Rose And Pepper Pavlova With Passionfruit And Strawberries.