Line a baking sheet with parchments and draw a large circle around a plate 23 cm diameter. Turn over and stick the paper to the tray with a little meringue mix once it’s ready at each corner.
In a clean dry metal mixing bowl, or in a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until holding stiff peaks. In a stand mixer this will just take a minute or so, it will be longer if doing by hand. Once the egg is stiff, add the golden caster sugar in increments of 4, thoroughly whisking on high speed each time. Continue adding all of the sugar until you have a lovely stiff glossy meringue mixture. Finally at the end whist in the vanilla extract.
Turn out the meringue mix onto the tray and with a spoon, push the meringue out to fill the circle. Make a small well in the middle so that you can fill it with cream and fruit once it's baked.
Pop into the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the meringue in the oven until it is completely cool.
Top Tip - if you want to fill your Pavlova a few hours in advance of eating it, to prevent the meringue getting soggy and wet from the cream and fruit, melt approx 75 grams of white chocolate and paint it over the meringue to create a thin chocolaty barrier between the cream and meringue. It will keep the lovely Pavlova crisper for longer.
To fill your Pavlova; Whisk all the ingredients together until the double cream is holding its shape and is lovely and whipped. Don’t over whip or it will go grainy.
Top with you chosen fruit.