Summer is only 5 weeks away from ending and the weather in Brisbane has been hot and humid for the majority of the season. The entire country has experienced tough conditions this summer so I decided to try my hand at making a Pavlova. Growing up my mother made beautiful Pavlova's and I always remember her worrying about how it would turn out, whether or not she had created enough height and then complaining about the lack of colour after she removed it from the oven. Every time she made her Pavlova she would state that her grandmother always made a beautiful Pavlova.
Now what's funny about this whole thing is that there was never anything wrong with her Pavlova's, everyone was yummy and it was a highlight to every meal. There seems to be a debate between Australia and New Zealand about who created the PAVLOVA and I would have to argue that the Pavlova originated in New Zealand only because my mother, her grandmother and I were all born in New Zealand. Now if you ask Mr Opoes he'll tell you that the Pavlova originated in Australia because his mother and his grandmother also made them while he was growing up.
|Australia looking Pavlova which I found here|
I think that the only difference between each countries original Pavlova's was the fruit used to decorated the Pavlova's top. In Australia (especially Queensland) mango and banana's are used on top and in New Zealand fresh kiwi fruit is generally used to decorate the Pavlova. So there you have it, that's my theory. So because I'm getting closer and closer to the big 4 zero and I've never made a Pavlova I decided that I would try to make one. My mother had made heaps by my age and I had shied away from making a Pavlova in part because they seemed SCARY. So to start 2013 I thought I'd attempt a Donna Hay creation.
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup pouring cream
fruit of choice
1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
2. Place the egg white into a metal bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form.
3. Slowly add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy. The mixture should triple in size during this process.
4. Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk it until its just combined.
5. Shape the mixture into an 18 cm (7 inch) round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
|this is my Pavlova just out of the oven.|
6. Reduce the oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
7. Turn oven off and allow the Pavlova to cool completely in the oven. If possible leave it in the oven for the night so that it can cool completely.
8. Once cooled, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the cream over the Pavlova. Top with fruit and serve immediately. Serves 8-10.
|My Pavlova had a few holes in it.|
Now if you have any Pavlova left over I would keep it in a cool place because the cream could go off and this won't be good for the people eating it later. If you want to make this a few days in advance you can BUT it needs to be kept UNDRESSED, in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
|I piled a whole heap of fruit on top of the Pavlova.|
As you can see mine had lots of fruit on it because I was a little worried that the inside wouldn't be as high as the outer crust. While I was putting the cream on top it did collapse a little which was upsetting especially as I didn't end up adding all the cream. I must say that it tasted great and everyone ate it which was a first for this family. I will definitely be making this again but next time I might only use two fruits like Donna suggested.
See you next week when I try to trick the children into thinking that we are having take away instead of a stir fry that mummy whipped up.