Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Iconic Australian Pavlova

Nothing says summer in Australia like a thick decadent slice of pavlova topped with lashings of cream, fresh fruit and passionfruit pulp. There's no other dessert that's quite like it. For those who have never tried it, imagine a thick slice of meringue with a crunchy crust and marshmallowy center that's topped with thick whipped cream and fruit. Now that I've set the stage, let me just say this has been one of the most stressful, exhausting and rewarding baking efforts I have attempted thus far. The ingredients may seem few and the methods may sound simple but don't let that fool you. After failing miserably with my first attempt, I was determined to make it work and whisked away into the week hours of the night. The result was a huge success which leads me to believe that this dessert is made for late night baking.

Here are some tips for the perfect pav:
1. Ensure eggs are at room temperature. I like to sit mine in warm water for 5 minutes.
2. Your mixing bowl needs to be spotless, rubbing lemon will help clean the bowl while residue juice will help set the egg whites.
3. Start mixing the egg whites on slow speed gradually increasing to medium. You want to create an airy texture so do not immerse the entire beater into eggs.
4. One of the main differences between a meringue and pavlova base is that cream of tartar is used to help set a meringue while corn flour is used for pavlova.
5. When moulding the mixture, make a well in the center so the cream and fruit have a place to sit.
6. Start with the oven preheated at 300 degrees, once you've placed the pavlova in, reduce to 250. The temperature change will ensure a nice crunchy crust.
7. Once the pavlova is done baking, allow to cool completely in oven. Baking late at night is a good idea as the pavlova can sit in the oven to cool overnight.
8. Chill beaters and bowl before you begin whipping cream for topping. Adding a touch of cream of tartar will help the cream set.

Whisk egg whites till firm and glossy

Pavlova shell ready for decorating.

Kiwi and strawberries are a classic combo

Spoon some passionfruit pulp over the top and serve!

4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup of castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tbsp corn starch

1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
1 tbsp powder sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Fresh fruit and passionfruit pulp (if available)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Line baking tray with aluminum foil, draw 7 inch circle. Grease the tray and lightly dust with corn starch.
3. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a clean dry bowl till soft peaks form.
4. Gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating constantly till sugar dissolves and mixture is thick and glossy.
5. Lightly fold in the vanilla, corn starch and vinegar.
6. Spoon mixture onto the circle and mould into a cake form with concave top.
7. Place in oven and reduce heat to 250 degrees.
8. Bake for 1 hour or until dry and crisp. Turn off oven and leave pavlova to cool completely with oven door closed or slightly ajar. The pavlova shell will harden once cooled.
9. Once cooled, store in a cool dry place till ready to serve.
10. Whisk whipping cream with sugar and cream of tartar till firm peaks form. Spread onto pavlova and decorate with fruit. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from


Mary Ann said...

I love this post Jenee! My mom made a berry Pavlova for me this past weekend for my birthday since I'm not eating gluten. Yours looks amazing! Greetings from Atlanta. Also, I'm hosting a blog giveaway - a cute pair of silver earrings! No complicated rules to enter. Check it out here - ends soon!

Diana Marks said...

Amazing photos! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Breena said...

Looks delicious! :D Lovely photos. :)

fashion-meets-art said...

oh i love it. it looks so yummy. i want to have a piece :)
now :-)
kisses to you- enjoy your day.
maren anita


Kirsten said...

Ohhh this looks so good <3 Nice post and thanks for sharing your recipe! X

EMN said...

wow this just looks amazing :) !!!
love it :)


Unknown said...

Wow! It looks so delicious! Mmm... :)~

Unknown said...

OMG! That looks absolutely YUMEE!!! Great job :) xx

sara l said...

thanks for the recipe! def gonna try it out! :)

jessica-anne said...

I did a pavlova blog post for Christmas last year; it's perfect for Australia's summer Christmas :) These photos are gorgeous, so vibrant, and I'm craving pavlova now!! Yours looks super yummy :D


Chow chow said...

whoa...looks so delicious... let's be real friends, Jenee.

Maya said...

looks yummi , I like it

Unknown said...

Oh my god. This looks so amazing. I've just copied the recipe down... thank you!!

oh really did you? that is so cool! are you working in a studio now?


The Marcy Stop said...

Wow this looks incredible! Great photos too!

Anna Brain said...

Yammy-yammy!! :)

Vittoria @ The Beautiful Things said...

this is just stunning! i wish i could taste a piece!

Unknown said...

so yummmm.... love your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Wow this looks amazing! Love your style. I'm following you now! Check out my new blog and follow if you would like :)

Suzie Q said...

That looks absolutely AMAZING!! Maybe one day I'll try making that, but it looks complex =) Your blog is so cute!

Suzie Q

Lolita in the Mix said...

Very nice! Yummy!


Natalia/Shandrese said...

woooow! That looks soooo delicious!!

NY Trendy Moms said...

OMg! this looks amazing!

BrightWhiteNoises said...

It looks delicious ! Nothing's better than fresh fruits :)

Ali said...

I have to try this! I tried last year to make one..Three times! And it was a disaster!! Maybe your version will be easier!!



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