Photographer and author Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen shares a recipe from his award-winning cookbook, The French Affair (Struik Lifestyle), available from bookstores nationwide for R375.



  • Melted butter, as needed
  • Cornflour for dusting
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups castor sugar
  • 1T rose-water
  • ½t pure vanilla extract
  • 2t cornflour
  • 1t white vinegar


  • 1 cup double cream
  • ¼ cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup chopped rose-flavoured Turkish delight
  • 2 cups mixed berries


1. Preheat the oven to 120 °C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Brush with the melted butter and dust with cornflour. Shake off the excess. (It can get a bit messy, so do this over the basin.)

2. Using a spoon, mark out a 23 cm-diameter circle in the dusted cornflour. This will guide you when putting the meringue on the pan.

3. To make the meringue, using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well as you go. Continue until all the sugar is fully dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy. Add the rose-water, vanilla extract, cornflour and vinegar. Beat only until these ingredients are mixed in thoroughly.

4. Spoon the meringue into the circle marked on the baking paper. Using a small spatula, smooth the sides and top and make peaks as desired. Bake for 1–1½ hours, or until the meringue feels dry to the touch.

5. With the pavlova base still inside, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar. When the base is completely cold, transfer it onto a serving plate. (You can also store it in an airtight container to use later as needed).

6. To make the topping, beat the cream with the castor sugar until peaks form. Mix in the chopped Turkish delight and fill the pavlova base. Wash and dry the berries well and arrange on top of the cream just before serving.

(This recipe serves 6)