The Australian Pavlova

The Australian Pavlova

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I am somewhat nervous that my naming this recipe ‘Australian Pavlova’ may be slightly controversial. Why? Because both we Aussies and our close neighbours the Kiwi’s (from New Zealand) claim the Pavlova as our own...

According to Culture Trip in their article titled “The History of Australia and New Zealand’s Sweetest Rivalry, The Pavlova” The New Zealand story goes that during Anna’s visit in 1929, a chef at the Wellington Hotel was said to be inspired by her tutu, creating this ‘billowy dessert’ in her honour. Featuring a meringue with marshmallowy-insides with cream and slices of kiwifruit on top. And the Australian is that was invented at a hotel in Perth, Australia. The dessert was declared by a diner to be 'as light as Pavlova'; as a result, the chef named the dessert, Pavlova.

But I do believe that Food52 sums it up perfectly in their blog post titled “The Dessert Australians and New Zealanders Are Squabbling Over” Where they declare that both Australians and New Zealanders may be wrong as to the Pavlovas origins.. WHAT!? Apparently, the most recent research, by Dr. Andrew Paul Wood and Annabelle Utrecht (a New Zealander and an Australian, respectively), suggests that the true pavlova has roots in Germany and America!!

If you’re interested in the true origins of this gorgeous dessert, definitely check out Food52’s article, I found it so interesting!! But even if we can’t agree on who invented the Classic Pavlova Recipes as we know it today, I think we can all agree that it’s absolutely delicious.

This classic Pavlova recipe is a staple in every Australian and New Zealand household. The supermarkets are packed to the brim with them as Christmas approaches, it’s every second person’s choice of birthday cake, and it’s whipped out… get it? whipped out? sorry, don’t mind me, on every special occasion/holiday year in, year out. Why is it so popular? because it’s delicious, completely and very easily customizable as well as quick and easy to make. Unlike meringues (which are definitely not the same thing! Bite your tongue!) Pavlova has a crisp and crunchy outer shell, but a soft marshmallow-like centre, (meringue is usually solid throughout), the texture is divine and the sweet flavour can be either played down or accentuated depending on what you put on top. My favourite topping for Australian Pavlova is vanilla whipped cream (which by the way, is not optional, any topping listed here is designed to go on top of said vanilla cream) with fresh strawberries and blueberries, but another very popular topping here in the land of Aus is kiwi fruit and/or Passionfruit, I personally just can’t pass up the tart fresh fruit with the sugary Pav. And for those who maybe aren’t a huge fan of fruit,

”Not looking at anybody in particular,” she says as she eyeballs her husband.

crumbling a Flake chocolate bar or a Peppermint Crip is also a very delicious and a common choice.


MY TOP TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE

#1 To get maximum volume out of your eggs, use room temperature egg whites and ensure there is no yolk mixed in with them, and that your beaters and bowl are clean and dry. Even a drop of water or oil can make a huge difference in the amount of volume you get out of your eggs.

#2 Also note, that your pavlovas success depends entirely on the stability of your meringue, so if you’re not sure it’s holding stiff peaks… keep beating! Because its eggs and not cream, you really can’t over-whip them, so just keep at it until you’re confident! It should take a solid 10ish minutes to achieve stiff peaks.

#3  For the sake of keeping your meringue soft and fluffy, a soft silicone spatula used in soft folding motions is the best way to use to minimise the amount of volume you lose while mixing your cornflour into your meringue. If you don't have a silicone spatula, using the whisk in gentle sweeping motions is the next best thing!

australian pavlova, classic pavlova recipe, quick easy pavlova
Yield: 6
Author:

The Australian Pavlova

prep time: 30 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 30 M
Pavlova is a year-round staple in this house, mainly due to it being my husbands favourite breakfast food... well, it is made of eggs I guess.

ingredients:

Pavlova
  • 4 eggs (whites only) 
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2tsp cornflour
  • +2tsp cornflour to dust
Cream
  • 300ml thickened cream 
  • 3tbsp icing sugar 
  • 1/2 vanilla pod

instructions:

How to cook The Australian Pavlova

  1. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees Celcius. 
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and sift 2tsp of cornflour on top, this will ensure your pavlova doesn't still to the baking paper. 
  3. Separate your egg whites into a large, clean mixing bowl. Add 1/4tsp cream of tartar and using electric beaters, beat your egg whites on a high speed until they hold soft peaks. 
  4. While the beaters are still running, slowly pour in your caster sugar 1/4 of a cup at a time, scraping down the edges of the bowl with a spatula in between each lot. 
  5. Continue to beat your meringue mixture until it holds stiff peaks (when the beaters are stopped and removed from the mixture no meringue should drop off), and also ensure that all your sugar has been well incorporated by rubbing a small drop of merignue between your fingers to check that it's smooth and not gritty. 
  6. Sift 2tsp of cornflour into the meringue mixture and fold in gently with a spatula. 
  7. Once well incorporated, slowly scoop your meringue mixture out of the bowl and into the center of your lined baking tray. 
  8. Shape your meringue in any way you desire. I use my spatula to swipe the edges of the pavlova up to create a neat circular pav and also the little whispy bits on top form a great bowl-like shape for the whipped cream and fruit later on. 
  9. Once you're happy with the shape, place your pavlova in the center of the oven, drop the temperature to 120 degrees Celcius and bake for 1 hour. 
  10. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven with the door closed to allow it to cool completely. This will avoid it collapsing when it comes into contact with cold air. 
  11. Once cooled, place 300ml thickened cream, 3tbsp icing sugar and scrape the seeds of half of a vanilla pod into a clean mixing bowl with a sharp knife. Then using electric beaters on high, beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Be mindful not to overbeat. 
  12. Scoop your whipped cream onto the top of your pavlova and top with as many berries as you desire! (You could also use kiwi fruits, passionfruits.. or if you despise fruit like my husband, just break up a Peppermint Crisp bar or Flake on top!)

NOTES:

EQUIPMENT large mixing bowl medium mixing bowl electric beaters sieve spatula baking tray parchment or baking paper
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