Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dancing and dessert

Pavlova is a meringue dessert of Australian/New Zealand origins. It is said to have been created after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured both of those countries in 1926.
I had never heard of Anna Pavlova until I tried her dessert but I'm guessing her dancing was ethereal yet full-bodied. The meringue has a delicate, crisp outer with a substantial marshmellowy, almost cake-like center.

It is to die for - epecially with whipped cream, tart fruit and a drizzle of caramel on top.
Here is the recipe I used:

4 large (120 grams) egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) superfine (castor) sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers). Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with a rubber spatula, fold in.

Gently 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 center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)

The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container, for a few days.
Read more: Pavlova Recipe With Picture - Joyofbaking.com - http://www.joyofbaking.com/Pavlova.html#ixzz0Cg5NlbEH


Kipp and Ashlee said...

I've been so far behind in my blog readings! I just read your blog about the twins... CONGRATS!

Haha, just kidding. you had me for .1 seconds, but then I thought "Hmm... what day was this posted?!" You better be careful what you wish for... mwahhhahahah

Brooke said...

"Ethereal yet full-bodied." Now I HAVE to try this dessert! Thanks for the recipe.

rachel said...

This looks delicious. I love the way you described it!

Melanie Williams said...

I'm so making this. oh my gosh. looks amazing.

JJ said...

I am addicted to pavlovas...ate them throughout the time I was in England, so many variations on toppings...add a lovely little custard to those fruits and I am in heaven!

mckenzie said...

oh man! that looks sooooo good right now. totally craving that.

Anonymous said...


Kera said...

you made this! impressive! looks amazing.

Chel said...

mmmmmmm! being married to an Aussie, it was mandatory that I could make pavlovas and pasties! :)