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In the mean time how about a recipe for Pavlova – what’s a Pavlova you say…? Well see that thing up there… its a little thing we Kiwi’s like to whip up come Summer time – named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who toured New Zealand in the early 20th century the ‘Pav’ is a light fluffy creation with a crunchy shell and gooey interior, usually smothered in whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit (generally kiwifruit and strawberries is how we do it). If you want to make this dessert it is best to make it plenty ahead of time as it requires setting – best baked the day before you need it then add the cream and decoration just before eating.
- 4 egg whites (room temperature eggs)
- Pinch salt (optional)
- 155 gms/2/3 cup caster sugar (this is super fine white sugar)
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 3-4 drops pure vanilla essence (extract)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 300 ml/ 1 1/4 cups double cream (heavy or clotted cream) for topping
- 2 Kiwis for topping (or you could add strawberry or even passion fruit)
- Preheat the oven at 150ºC (300ºF).
- Prepare a baking tray (round or rectangular is fine, as long as it's large enough for a dinner plate sized circle). Place baking paper or on the tray to prevent the mixture from sticking.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Keep the yolks for a different recipe, or make an omelette later.
- Beat the egg whites with a food mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes, or beat with an egg whisk, until stiff peaks form. If using the salt (optional), add it at this step.
- Slowly add the sugar, vinegar, vanilla and hot water to the egg whites.
- Spoon the mixture onto the tray, pavlovas should be round with a little hollow that takes the cream and toppings, so it helps to imagine that you're making a nest shape. It should be approximately dinner plate roundness in size.
- Smooth out the circle and then create a small indented hollow in the center, with slightly raised edges. If your shape is on the wonky side of circular, don't worry too much about how accurate the circular shape is - creative misshapes are permissible as long as the topping stays put.
- Pop into the center of the oven. Cook for 60-70 minutes, or until crisp. Don't let it over-brown; it should be an off-white color on the outside.
- Prepare the toppings while you wait; whip the cream so that it forms soft peaks; slice your kiwis and any other toppings you want to use.
- Once the Pavolva has finished cooking leave it in the oven undisturbed, at least until it is cool but preferably overnight. If you move it too soon it is likely to crack and fall in on itself.
- Once the Pav has cooled place it on a serving dish and prepare to add the toppings.
- Add the whipped cream. If you're patient, spread it out to the edges evenly; if you're impatient, just dollop it on.
- Add the fruit topping - place the sliced fruit in a fun pattern covering the top of the pavlova.
- Serve. The beauty of a pavlova is in the eye of the creator; everyone else just wants to eat it so don't be surprised at how quickly your creation disappears.
- Pavlova is best eaten day it is made; it goes soggy quickly if left longer.
- Other topping ideas include (usually on the whipped cream): Mixture of berries; cherries (pitted); apricot or peach halves; grated dark chocolate; raspberries; mango slices etc.
- Use eggs that are room temperature for the best results.
- A dainty variation is to make this mixture as outlined but to create four “mini pavlovas”. Just spoon out four evenly sized dollops on the tray and cook as instructed above, but only for 50 minutes. These will cook as little “puffs” and won’t have the hollow; they are best served with a dob of cream on top and a berry coulis drizzled over the top (or serve the cream to the side of the plate). This is a lovely wedding, buffet or cocktail idea but you’ll need to adjust the ingredient amounts depending on how many serves you need.
- Aussies& Kiwis are fond of shortening their words. So, the pavlova is fondly known as a “pav”.
- Disasters that may befall a pavlova include: Browned too much from overcooking; burning because you forgot to take it out on time; or sinking because you got impatient and opened the door too soon. If it is overbrowned, it’ll probably be chewy – but there are people who like it chewy; just slather on lots of cream and topping. If it burns, cut off the burned bits and slather the remaining pavlova with cream and topping. If it sinks, slather it with cream and topping. While the ideal pavlova is symmetrical, balanced and clear of flaws, unless you’re a chef, this is a very forgiving dessert and as long as it still tastes good, people won’t really notice. If it is completely burned, crumbly or sunken, compost it and start again. If all else fails, run down to your local supermarket – most Australian and New Zealand supermarkets stock pre-made pavlova cases in their bakery section
- Never bring up the question of who invented the pavlova at a dinner party containing both Australians and New Zealanders. Most likely it will result in a huge dispute.
Images originally produced for wikihow. This recipe is edited from the orginial article How to Make Pavlova