Pavlova Recipe

Pavlova

Pavlova was one recipe that I had been willing to try. This pavlova was made first time last weekend by adapting two different recipes; Joy of Baking and Simple Recipes. Then I made another trial by reducing the sugar 10 grams to suit my tastebuds.

Pavlova is a debating cake between Australia and New Zealand as which country was the inventor. This meringue cake that has a light delicate crisp crust and soft sweet marshmallow centre was named after the late of Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina who toured to Australia and New Zealand in 1926.

Just like other meringues, it is important to make the egg whites reach maximum volume so make sure the mixing bowl and whisk are free from grease. Separating the egg whites is easier when the eggs are still cold. Once you separate the whites and yolks, place the whites at a room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Another trick is using berry sugar (American: superfine sugar, British: castor/caster sugar) as it is faster to dissolve in egg whites. If you don’t have any berry sugar, don’t worry. Grind your regular granulated sugar with your coffee or spice grinder or food processor until very fine; about 30 to 60 seconds.

Pavlova
Adapted from Joy of Baking and Simple Recipes

Ingredients:

Meringue
4 large egg whites
190 grams (6.7 oz) berry sugar (superfine sugar, castor/caster sugar). Original recipe used 200 grams (1 cup)
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (can be substituted for vanilla powder or vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
a pinch of salt

Topping
240 milliliter (1 cup) whipped cream
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (can be substituted for vanilla powder or vanilla extract)

Directions:
1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 18 centimetre (7 inch) circle on paper. Turn the parchment paper over so the circle side on the reverse side. Mix together vanilla bean and vinegar, set aside. Combine berry sugar and corn starch, set aside.

2. In a large bowl of a heavy duty mixer, fitted whisk attachment. Whip egg whites and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Increase speed to medium-high. Start adding the sugar-cornstarch mixture, a tablespoon at a time. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar mixture. Increase speed a bit, whip meringue until glossy and stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted, about 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the centre (you want a slight well in the centre of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit) which I did the opposite way :).

5. Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C). Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the outside dry, and is a very pale cream colour. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue completely cool off in the oven. (The outside meringue will fell firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see the inside is soft and marshmallowy).

6. The cooled meringue can be stored in a cool dry place, an airtight jar for a few days.

7. Whisk whipped cream and vanilla bean in an bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks just about to form. Make sure not over-beat, cream then become lumpy and butter like. Sweeten with sugar, then mound softly whipped cream into the centre of the meringue. Arrange fruits on top of the cream. Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives on the Prairie land of Canada. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.