I made this pavlova for my book club end-of-year celebration, hosted by my friend Ivy Puterflam who put on a fantastic spread for us and our partners. I chose the famous pav because it’s light and fluffy and topped with fruit it's the perfect summer dessert. I have been wanting to make this one for a loooooooong time but haven’t attempted it because, basically, pavlovas are a delicate dessert that is sensitive to EVERYTHING. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I mean some of my favourite people are like that, they meltdown, they fall apart, they cram under pressure, or what no one else would think of as real pressure. So you have to handle them with extreme care but because they’re very special and complex and sweet, it’s well worth the effort. Pavlova is the super neurotic dessert that you can’t help but love. Still, it takes an effort so for a while I just put it in the too-hard basket. But then I thought, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll make a nice lemon pie from the egg yellow and still have a yummy cake to take with me.
I searched for pavlova recipes everywhere and the one that appealed to me is the one by Donna Hay. I followed the recipe to the letter and it WORKED. It didn’t come out perfect because I have the WORST oven, so if it can come out fine in mine anyone can make it. I really recommend that you give this a go. It really is the perfect dessert to take/make for your party. And on that note, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year. May 2020 bring you all the things you wished for and more.
Love to you all and see you in the new year. Nava
6-7 egg white (roughly 55g-60g an egg)
1½ cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1½ tsp white vinegar
1½ cups (375 ml) single (pouring) cream
Strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit pulp and one cherry for the top
1tablespoon vanilla sugar
Meringue Please note: cooling time is 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
Using a pencil, draw a 20 cm circle on a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Place the baking paper, pencil-side down, (so no pencil transfers on to the meringue) on a lightly greased baking tray. Spoon the meringue mixture into the circle to make a neat round shape. I used the back of a large spoon to make ridges on the pavlova.
Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour. Allow cooling completely in the closed oven.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until each addition is dissolved before adding more.
Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk for a further 10–15 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Place the cornflour and vinegar in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
Add the cornflour mixture to the egg-white mixture and whisk for 30 seconds or until well combined.
Place the cream and vanilla sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Place the pavlova on a cake stand or plate and top with the cream, strawberries, raspberries and passionfruit pulp.
Notes by Donna Hay Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convention), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. Making meringue is science. Be sure to measure your ingredients carefully, including the egg whites as egg sizes do vary. Fresh, room temperature eggs work best – when whisked they’ll become fluffy and voluminous, plus they’re more stable during baking. Be patient when gradually adding the sugar to the eggwhite. Each tablespoon of sugar should be dissolved before the next is added. Take care not to over whisk the meringue mixture – it’s ready when it’s thick, glossy, smooth and there are no more sugar granules. You can check this by rubbing a little mixture between your thumb and forefinger. Allow the meringue to cool gradually in the oven with the door closed – preferably overnight.
PS - I love hearing from you! Let me know how it went and feel free to spread the word/passion/love, the more the merrier!