Berry Nests
4 egg whites
small pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 cups thickened cream
2 tsps icing sugar
1 tbsp brandy
fresh mixed berries

1. Line a large baking tray with nonstick baking paper and preheat the oven to 300F/ 150C. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form then gradually add the sugar. Beat until stiff and glossy.

2. Fit a piping bag with a medium-sized star nozzle and use to pipe tightly coiled spirals of meringue (about 3inch/8cm across) onto the prepared tray. Pipe rings on the top edges of the rounds to form nests.

3. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven to 250F/120C and bake for a further 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the nests to cool in the oven with the door ajar. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and brandy. Pile into the nests and top with mixed berries of your choice.

Note: The cream of tartar will help to dry the meringues, making then crisp and crunchy. Pavlova nests are also delicious served with simple coulis of pureed fresh berries, perhaps sweetened with a little icing sugar.

     Makes 12.