Although my waistline doesn’t miss it, my taste-buds sure do miss pavlova. Pavlova is a dessert that seems to be extremely popular in Australia but not so popular in Canada. I don’t often see the delicate meringue shells in the store (they are in almost every grocery store in Australia) but I did see some mini meringues at Whole Foods on Cambie the other day. I was about to put some in my basket when I caught myself and bravely (stupidly??) thought “No, I’ll make a pavlova instead”.
Even though I’ve had my KitchenAid Mixer for a few months now, I have been too intimidated to even attempt a pavlova. I’ve heard the cooking horror stories; the eggs are best at room temperature. You have to beat the egg whites just so, but not too much.You have to cool the pavlova slowly so that the centre doesn’t sink. Yes, I’ve heard all of these stories. Truthfully, I am quite a lazy cook; I don’t want to make something were the risk of it failing is high. But with my morale high after having been inspired by the mini meringues and the fact that organic strawberries were on sale, I attempted my very first pavlova.
I got this recipe from my favourite recipe library www.taste.com.au but after making it, I will need to source for another recipe as I just didn’t like the final product. The sweetness was there but there was a slight tartness in the back of the mouth. Also, even though I followed the recipe, my pavlova still sunk in the middle. 😦 The recipe didn’t say how long to cool it in the oven but I thought I’d left it enough time…obviously not. Even though my first attempt wasn’t great, I will attempt to make a pavlova again. Berry season is almost here and nothing goes better with pavlova than fresh berries and whipped cream.
Pavlova – Serves 6
1 tablespoon of cornflour
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
200ml cream, whipped
250g of fresh berries
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 egg whites 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 and spread with the cream and top with berries. Serve.