My love/hate relationship with Pavlova
I love Pavlova but I was always too frightened to make it so I hated it too. Egg whites scared the hell out of me for a really, really long time. Many years ago I decided that it was just ridiculous to be scared of egg whites and set out to make a ‘Pav.’
Well, let me tell you…It was AWFUL!!! It was flat and kind of looked like a frisbee but I was determined to turn it into a pavlova. I smothered it in whipped cream and topped it with passionfruit and took it to my friend’s place.
Fifteen years later I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears. Well, that was it for me. I was never destined to be able to make one of my favourite desserts.
It was my partner’s birthday earlier this year and I had gotten into a bit of baking and it was going quite well. I asked him what he wanted me to make him for his birthday. “Pavlova” he said, “That’s my favourite, with strawberries on top”.
I’m not too keen on Pav with strawberries for a start AND he knew I couldn’t make them. So, once my heart returned to its normal rate I decided that I must bite the bullet and make this, not just for him but for me. At the time I wasn’t sure if he was just being a smart arse but no, he was being serious and so I set out to make one at the end of the working week. Just in case it didn’t work out and I was devastated, at least I had the weekend to get over it.
So, here it is…My first Pavlova in over 15 years…and it was awesome and I sent a photo of it to my friend on facebook and I’ve made it quite a few times since and it’s wonderful…but only with a single fruit topping…preferably passionfruit.
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 6 eggwhites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 200ml whipped cream
- your favourite fruit on top.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Draw a 24cm (diameter) circle on a sheet of baking paper. Place, pencil-side down, on a baking tray. Dust lightly with 1 teaspoon cornflour.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Add remaining 3 teaspoons cornflour with the last tablespoon of sugar. Fold through vanilla and vinegar.
- Spoon meringue onto baking paper. Shape into a circle, using the pencil mark as a guide, with a slightly higher edge and a low centre. Reduce oven to 100°C. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until dry and crisp. Turn off oven and open oven door. Cool completely in oven (pavlova may sink during cooling).
- Slide pavlova onto a serving plate. Spread with cream and top with your favourite fruit. Serve.