To the uninitiated North Americans, the pavlova's closest relative would be the meringue ...but with a soft yet chewy centre that melts in your mouth. This is a recipe that has been passed through the generations of Australasians yet one we still argue as to the origins. Whip out a pavlova at a mixed Antipodean event and there is bound to be a lengthy discussion about its birthrights. —Kate Thompson
Beat egg whites with salt using an electric mixer until they form a stiff peak. (This can take 5 - 10 minutes, depending on weather and humidity).
Gradually add fine granulated sugar (quarter of a cup at a time) beating at full speed until all sugar is added. Mixture should look white, glossy and stiff.
Using a spatula, fold in vinegar and vanilla.
Set out mini cupcake cases inside a mini muffin tin/baker tray.
Using a mini ice cream scoop or teaspoon, scoop out mixture and place into cupcake cases. This doesn't have to be neat, you want to sculpt it so it forms a slight dip in the middle (as this is where the cream and topping will go when it is cooked and cooled.
Reduce heat in the oven to 300F and bake 20- 30 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave pavlovas in oven until completely cooled (or overnight for the ultimate sticky pavlova sensation!).
Roast hazelnuts under broiler for a few minutes (watch carefully as they can easily burn!). Remove husks and crush, using a mortar and pestle - do not over crush, keep it rustic.
Whip cream using electric mixer.
Add a dollop of cream to the top of each pavlova, and decorate with berries, mint