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Vinegar for Pavlova

Asked by Seán D. Answered on 24th May 2014

Full question

Hi, is there alcohol in white wine vinegar? I was just wondering could I add normal (malt) vinegar to the Mini Pavlova recipe instead?

Our answer

In a meringue recipe, such as Nigella's Mini Pavlovas (from Domestic Goddess and on the Nigella website), the vinegar is added as it helps to stabilize the whisked egg whites and helps the meringue mixture to hold the air whisked in to it. White wine vinegar is made from white wine but during the process of fermentation most of the alcohol turns to acid. However some vinegars may still contain tiny traces of alcohol.

If this is a concern to you then it is fine to use other types of acid for the meringue. We would avoid using malt vinegar or balsamic vinegar as they have a very strong flavour and could affect the flavour of the meringue. Lemon juice is an ideal alternative, or you could use cream of tartar. Both of these should be used in the same quantity as the vinegar.

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