Pavlova

pavlova with fresh cream and berries

Pavlova is another one of those desserts whose origin seems locked in battle between Australia and New Zealand.  I don’t care who “invented” it, I’m just grateful for it, no matter where it comes from.

It’s a dessert which seems to invoke fear in people trying to make it, but I have made it enough times to know that with some basic rules, it’s a simple and impressively sweet treat to make.  You end up with this perfect blend of crisp outer shell with marshmallowy centre, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

The basic rules:

  1. Use a clean bowl and beater – any oil, egg yolk, water, soap etc will limit the volume that you will get from your egg whites
  2. If you’re in humid weather, beat your egg whites with the airconditioner on.  Humidity also minimises volume
  3. I make my pavlova a touch less sweet, but you need at least 50g of sugar per egg white to keep the stiffness in the meringue mix
  4. Make sure you add the sugar to the egg whites gradually, making sure you beat well until the sugar is dissolved (taste some of the mix, if it’s gritty, you need to beat it more)
  5. When the cooking is done, let the pavlova cool in the oven with the oven door closed or at the most open only a crack or your pavlova will collapse

OK that’s a few more than I thought, but really, it’s not that difficult, honest !

Ingredients (to feed 6 people or 4 greedy ones)

  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g castor sugar
  • splodge of vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Whipped cream and fruit to top

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Beat egg whites with salt until satiny peaks form
  3. Add castor sugar in small batches, beating well between each so that the sugar has dissolved
  4. fold in the vanilla, cornflour and vinegar
  5. Pile on to a tray lined with baking paper (you can draw a 15cm circle on the underneath of the baking paper to help), flatten the top a little (so you can add the topping)
  6. Put into oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 150C and bake for 30 minutes
  7. Reduce the temperature to 120C and bake for another hour
  8. Turn off oven at the end and let the pavlova cool in the oven
  9. Top with fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit
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About Carolyn Chan

A girl slowly eating her way around Singapore and farther afield when she's lucky. View all posts by Carolyn Chan

3 responses to “Pavlova

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