Pavlova is the Australian giveaway that they are an extension of the United Kingdom.
By that, I am referring to the British dessert, Eton Mess. Eton mess is basically broken meringue and sliced fruit folded in whipped cream. Pavlova is essentially a giant meringue cookie, topped with whipped cream and sliced fruit. Same roots, different leafs.
Pondering aside, the meringue is best cooked long and slow, to yield a crispy exterior and a marshallow-y interior. I was delighted that the unpleasant egg odor was nonexistent, and I think that would be due to the vinegar, and vanilla of course. Any tangy fruit would do well (strawberry, kiwi, berries, ananas), and if you want to be thoroughly authentic about it, you can even drizzle some passion fruit pulp at the end. I've tried strawberry and raspberry, and many preferred the raspberry version more. I've also tried adding some swishes of berry curd, and it was absurdly delicious.
The recipe below yields one large meringue disc. I often double the recipe to make a sandwich pavlova cake from two discs. This dessert is best made, served, and consumed on the same day.
4 egg whites
1 cup powder sugar
1 Tbsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups strawberries
Preheat oven to 325F.
Whisk egg whites to a soft peak.
Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, and continue beating to a firm peak. By now the egg mixture should be glossy.
Beat in the cornflour, vinegar, and vanilla.
Line a baking tray with silicone mat, and dust the surface with extra cornflour.
Transfer the egg white mix to the tray, shaping into a circle about 25 cm wide and 4-6 cm high.
Turn the oven down to 230F, place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Remove the pavlova from the oven when done and set aside to cool.
Carefully transfer to the serving dish and set aside.
Whip the cream until stiff, and spread over the surface of the meringue.
Slice your fruits (any tangy fruit would do well: strawberry, kiwi, berries, ananas, passion fruit...) and arrange over the cream.
The pavlova is best served and consumed on the day it is made.
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