Thursday, 29 April 2010

Pavlova Magic

Pavlova - although probably originating in New Zealand - is the quintessential Australian family dessert. For every barbecue or event where everyone "brings a plate", someone will bring a pav. They always go faster than the cheesecake.

At its best, a pavlova is crisp on the outside, squidgy and marshmallowy inside. The cream is whipped into billowy softclouds and is unsweetened. The fruit is quite tart, but perfectly ripe, fresh and abundantly applied. At worst, the cream will be sweet and squirted from a can, the meringue will taste of cornflour and the fruit will be syrupy tinned peach segments.

I don't make a good pavlova. For some reason I have a lot of trouble getting the eggwhites to just the right stage before I add my sugar, I add my sugar at the wrong speed and it all ends up going wrong.

For people like me, there is the gloriously tacky and retro plastic egg, the Pavlova Magic. You take the sachet of powdered eggwhite and gelatine out of the egg, fill the base of the egg with water, the top of the egg with caster sugar and away you go. Perfect. And no need to figure out what to do with all the eggyolks.

The down-side to the Pavlova Magic is that it really doesn't taste of anything but sugar. So for this one, I added a good splash of vanilla at the water stage, and folded 60g chopped white chocolate into the meringue just before baking.

On top of the cream I used raspberries and pomegranate seeds, with shavings of white chocolate.

Other brilliant pavlova topping combinations: passionfruit, strawberry and kiwifruit (a real classic); sliced white peaches with raspberries; chunks of mango, pineapple and passionfruit. It's not an excuse to serve the leftover fruitsalad. It deserves careful construction.

If you do need to transport one to someone else's house, it's usually easier to take the elements separately and assemble them on the spot, but otherwise put it in a big cake carrier, don't cover it in cling film, because the meringue will sweat and everything will sink and wilt

21 comments:

tamarindandthyme said...

:D It's like magic...out of an egg! I'm a sucker for kitsch like this - shame it's just all sugar.

maybelle's mom said...

pavlova is such a exotic thing to me. when I bring them to parties, people are so surprised and excited.

kat said...

Pavlova is so not a typical US thing. I've actually only had it once when a Scottish friend made it.

Simona said...

You've got me really curious to try to make this cake. I like your idea of adding white chocolate. The raspberries offer a nice color contrast.

ZenaT_Pinter2284 said...

thanks................................................

Foodycat said...

Su-Lin - yeah, but meringue is always just sugar! Best not to think about it.

MM - "exotic"? How funny!

Kat - that surprises me. I would have thought that with the sweet tooth Americans seem to have they would have taken to it!

Simona - There is a Nigella Lawson pavlova that is chocolate with dark chocolate through it, so I borrowed that idea.

Zena - I assume this is spam. I am not going to click your link.

HH said...

That looks lovely FC, I love the fruit combination and the white chocolate! yum!

I remember pavlova magic, we had one in the house once when I was little, though I don't remember eating it. I didn't know you could still get them! I use Jamie's meringue recipe from "Cook" or Nigella's one from domestic goddess (I think) that has rosewater in it and is topped with pomegranates - both are good, though I think I like Jamie's better and his tip of beating the egg whites - pre sugar - until you can tip the bowl upside down over your head without ending up covered in meringue is a good one, and produces excellent results!

Debinhawaii said...

I love pavlova--although I find it harder to make here in the humid weather. Loving the kitschy Pavlova Magic egg--how fun! ;-)

mscrankypants said...

YES, NO SWEETENED CREAM! Why do people add sugar to whipped cream -- that's why cows invented lactose to make it naturally sweet!!!

My favourite pav topping is (shamefully) smashed up Peppermint Crisp bars.

Foodycat said...

HH - rosewater & pomegranate sounds so heavenly!

Deb - I think the best meringues I've ever made were in QLD. Maybe humidity works for me?

Cranky - you are right to be ashamed of that. I love a peppermint crisp but seriously, on a pavlova?

Barbara said...

I love Pavlova, they make such a lovely presentation! Not too many people make it and in Florida, practically nobody. Meringue just don't hold up well in this humidity. Still, I love 'em!

mscrankypants said...

As ashamed as I should be, I've been craving a peppermint crisp pav for the last 12 hours now. Next time you make one, devote one slice to smashed up peppermint crisp and take it for a whirl; if you don't like it, Fat Couriers will take it off your hands!

Foodycat said...

Barbara - well, you have the lovely key lime pie!

Cranky - OK, will do!

Taste of Beirut said...

I have always wanted to make pavlova but thought it might be a bit tricky; glad you found way, though I would rather use egg whites and cornstarch; did you try using cream of tartar? your pavlova came out beautiful with all these berries. yum!

Choclette said...

Oh yum, I do love pavlova but I've still never managed to make one. I have an Australian friend who always does one when we go to him for dinner. Find the idea of your Pavlova Magic a bit weird, but part of the reason I've not made it is because I'm a bit scared. Now you've inspired me and summer is (hopefully) on it's way, I might have a go. Do like your idea of adding white chocolate of course passionfruit.

Foodycat said...

Taste of Beirut - I've tried cream of tartar in the past, my problem is not getting the eggwhites right!

Choclette - try one of Nigella's, they seem quite reliable!

Mary said...

I had never heard of this. Pure magic :-). It certainly looks delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Taste of Beirut said...

I just wanted to reply to your question on my post regarding kashkaval cheese; Ivy from Kopiaste who blogs from Athens said that its origin is indeed the Italian cheese Caccio Cavallo; so you were right~

Johanna said...

Ok I will rock your world right now with this information: for great meringue you whip the sugar together with the egg whites from the beginning! I learned this in a meringue course run by Greece's most celebrated pastry chef. Never looked back since. If you have a stand mixer, start with medium power and when the egg whites get to the white but still frothy stage switch to a high power. This way you don't aeriate the meringue so much. Also a tiny bit of acid (cream of tartar, vinegar or lemon juice) will help stabilize the whites, but I don't find it necessary. Hope you try it and let me know.

Foodycat said...

Mary - never heard of it? Oh no! You've missed out!

Taste of Beirut - thanks for getting back to me!

Johanna - I am definitely going to try that! Thanks!

Buy Meat said...

I've always wanted to make pavlova! Thanks for sharing this its very informative!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...