Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Pavlova Pavlova Pavlova

After my post last Wednesday where I shared how much I love Pavlova several of you have asked what it is, for recipes or just said how much you love a good Pav too.  So I though that I would share some photos with you from last year where I made a Pav to share with my family.  The original posts are here and here.



For the uninitiated Pavolva is a sort of meringue, topped with whipped cream and fruit.  What makes a Pav different from a meringue nest is the texture.  You include white wine vinegar and cornflour (cornstarch) in the mixture and this is what makes it a Pav, soft and chewy and sticky on the inside, cracked and lovely on the outside.  It is delicious.  Pav is not the same as meringue and should not (in my view!) be confused with meringue, although it often is.

When you bite into a Pav it should be crispy and dry on the outside and soft as marshmallow within, a liberal covering of whipped cream and some delicious seasonal fruit, what could be a better thing to eat.



It is believed that Pavlova was named after the famous ballet dancer Anna Pavlova when she visited New Zealand in the 1920's.  It is considered to be the quintessential Australian and New Zealand dessert.  In fact here you can see the Australian Pav in the most amazing form - go all the way down the post!


 
So, to actually making a Pav, you will be wanting a recipe no doubt.  I use a Mary Berry one from an old book, I am not comfortable with sharing it here because of copyright, however, I did find this Mary Berry Pav recipe that is very similar to the one I use and also this Bill Granger Pav recipe.  For those who don't know, Mary Berry is considered to be the doyenne of British Baking (she is a judge on the Great British Bake Off) and Bill Granger is a great Australian Chef - who writes wonderful books that I have all of and cook from regularly!

I am sure that you can make a Pav that will be wonderful whatever recipe you use, just make sure to mix together the vinegar and cornflour and add to the mix and just go for it!



A couple of notes about making a Pav.  I only ever use golden caster sugar in all my baking as it is less refined than white caster sugar.  This is why my Pineapple Pav (see below) is a more golden colour.  If you use the same sugar, you will get this colour, if you want a whiter Pav use white sugar.  It is not this colour because it has been overcooked.  The Berry Pav (above) was very unusually for me made with white sugar.

Do not over or under whip the egg whites, you want them to be soft, light, fluffy and creamy looking.  They should not look dry or overly stiff, if you see the photo above of the mixture that is how it should look when the sugar has been added in stages - I just add it in a spoon at a time.  Glossy is what you want with peaks that stand up alone with a little curl on the top, not sloppy, but not hard either.

If you have the wrist strength you can make this by hand with a whisk.  Until last year when I inherited my stand mixer I always used an electric hand whisk and that worked really well.  The stand mixer makes adding the sugar easier as you have both hands free, but it is not necessary by any means.  My food processor (Magimix) came with an egg whisking blade, I tried to make Pav in it.  It does not work as you need to get lots of air in and the processor bowl just does not allow the air to get in so it doesn't work.  It would probably be good for some things, but not this.  For the same reason, if your stand mixer has a splash guard, remove this before making your Pav to allow the maximum amount of air in.

Some people I have seen say that you should cook your Pav on aluminium foil and that if it is cooked properly it will just come away from the foil.  I totally disagree with this.  It might work for plain meringues, but I cannot say as I never make them, but it does not work for Pav.  I always use silicone baking paper to line my baking tray and it always works a treat for me, just comes straight off.  Do not use greaseproof paper, you want baking paper.  I have a silpat (silicone baking mat), but I rarely use it and have never used it for a Pav, so that might work, but I cannot say.  Just please do not use foil as it is a nightmare to get off the bottom and tastes nasty if you eat a bit by mistake!

Once you have cooked your Pav turn off the oven and leave it in there with the door closed until the oven is totally cool - I would make it either early in the morning and take it out of the oven in the evening, or at night and take it out in the morning.  You can make the meringue(ish!) part a few days before you need it as long as you keep it dry and cool.  Do not refrigerate - under any circumstance, I am as strict about this as the not using foil!!!  I simply put mine on a large platter and cover loosely with cling film - saran wrap - and leave it in my laundry room out of the way until I need it. 

There are lots more instructions from me, and also a step by step guide of how to make a Pav in my previous post here.


Once you add the cream and fruit eat ASAP, although leftovers can be kept in the fridge until the next day when they will be gooey and sticky and delicious, but not the same as a freshly put together Pav.  If you are taking a Pav to a party take all the parts and then assemble at the last minute.  It makes a great sharing or party dessert for everyone to join in eating.

My favourite toppings are strawberries and blueberries or pineapple and stem ginger, but you can put any fruit you like on top, some people add chocolate - which strangely for a chocoholic such as me I have never done!  Whatever you like goes really.  Some other suggestions are pears and ginger, mixed berries, tropical fruits - as I had for my last birthday with a 0 on the end.

Of course this does not work for those who are avoiding sugar, eggs or dairy, but if you are OK with all of those, but are gluten free, this is a great dessert as it is naturally GF and you can eat as much as you like, no explanations needed to anyone else and no need for you to have something different from everyone else.  That is one of the other reasons that I love this for parties and gatherings.

I hope that you will have a go at making one yourself and that you will love it as much as I do!  If you have any trouble making it, let me know and if there are lots more questions I will try and do an Q and A on the subject.  It really is easy though - truly!!!!

I think that must just about cover it for Pavlova!  I don't think that there is anything else I can add to this already very long, but hopefully informative, post.  Go bake.  Now!

Amy

45 comments:

  1. Bravo! Wonderfully done and the pineapple one looks amazing only because I'm a pineapple girl. I made this a couple of times, however little individual ones. Yes, I love how they crust on the outside and the inside is so dreamy. I can see why the strawberry and blueberry one might be your favourite. Thanks for sharing

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  2. Now, I have two questions: 1) why not put in fridge? and 2) what happens when you leave it to cool in the oven that doesn't happen if you take it out? Fantastic pictures- they look wonderful. I make eton mess more than pav, largely because if the meringue has gone wonky it doesn't matter! My mother in law cooks her meringues in the aga- they are amazing :-) x

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    1. Not in the fridge because it goes weepy as the any moisture causes the sugar to break down and try to go back to sugar, it is alright the day after because you don't mind then, but for first time round you want that crispy outer shell.

      If you cool it in the oven it is less likely to crack. If you take it straight out from warm to cold it might get shock and crack. Again no disaster, but it looks much prettier, plus it gives you somewhere to leave it during the day/overnight!

      I bet the AGA cooked ones are amazing, lovely slow heat! Just what is needed. Hope that you give them a try sometime. xx

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  3. My daughter always makes us Pavlova when we visit as a treat, I love it when all the summer fruits are in season. Have a great day.

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  4. Looks delicious. We are all on diets in our house at the moment but may be one for when treats are allowed again.

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  5. I love Pavlova too. I have a Mary Berry book which has a chocolate and orange pavlova recipe - it's wonderful. You really should try it. It's great for parties too x

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  6. It looks fantastic, may give it a try this summer. We're not big dessert eaters, but we love fruit and whipped cream.

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  7. Hello Amy, I am just catching up on your posts - love the shell room, and the purple flowers, and have enjoyed reading about your expertise with a Pav. It is a great Australian tradition, and I have made quite a few over the years. We tend to keep them for special occasions. I've become a bit lazy in recent times and buy a readymade Pavlova shell and add my own cream and fruit, however now i feel inspired to make one again. I think the weather comes into the equation too, and never make pavlova or sponge cake on a wet day, as the eggs don't rise in the correct way. Your pavlovas all look absolutely delicious!

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    1. The weather definitely makes a difference I think, you are so right, it needs to be a dry and not too hot or too cold day. I bet that you have had some amazing Pavlovas in your time!! Apart from my Mum's I have never had one like I make them, they are more of the meringue nest situation over here in my experience. I will keep making mine though! Hope that you make one soon and enjoy it lots! xx

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  8. Oh Amy this does look divine. I might have to revisit this one day when we have people over for now though it is still pretty sugar free over here. I bet it tasted divine!! xoxo

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  9. Now I know what a Pavlova is! I have heard of it and seen photos but never eaten it and I didn't know how it went together. It sounds and looks delicious Amy!

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  10. Your photos are sheer torture to me, since I'm on a diet (and trying to stay on a diet.... ;-) )
    Why does it look soooo yummy...

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    1. That is always the way when you are dieting! xx

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  11. Oh my word Amy, can I join you for tea please. My mouth is watering right now.
    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  12. Well my diet wouldn't allow me this but that doesn't stop me drooling all over my iPad! :) x

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  13. They look mouthwateringly good, and perfect to eat alfresco in the garden at the moment.

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  14. mmmmmmm looks delicious. I haven't made one for years - and seeing yours I really must make one and fill it with all the lovely fruit that is around.

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  15. I could just eat the mixed fruit one now, all to myself! Even if there was someone in the room I would be very reluctant to share! They look wonderful.

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  16. Thanks so much for this post, Amy! It turns out that I thought I was making meringue nests, but my recipe includes white wine vinegar and cornstarch, so all this time I have actually been making pavlova nests (am I allowed to call them that?). In fact, I made some last night for our 35th anniversary dessert, covered in fresh strawberries and whipped cream. One advantage of making the nests is it is easier to make small portions when it is just my husband and myself to eat them. If I made the large pavlova I'm quite sure I would eat the whole thing!

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  17. How lovely! I've never made one but have always thought they looked so elegant!

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  18. Hey Amy,

    One word : LUSH!!!!!

    Leanne xx

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  19. My daughter made Mary Berry's Easter lemon pavlova this year and last. The healthy fruit is replaced by mini Easter eggs.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/easter_lemon_pavlova_99601

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  20. That looks so yummy, you must stop tempting me Amy I'm trying to be good! :)

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  21. Totally agree with Leanne,LUSH, I'll add YUM YUM too,
    Hope you're well Amy
    Best Wishes
    Sue xxx

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  22. Wow, the berry one looks so delicious!! I need to make that now!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I love pavlova - perhaps even more than I love LMP!!

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  24. They look delicious Amy, especially the red berry one:)

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  25. Ooooh delicious!! Maria x

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  26. I had no idea the meringue bit was different from meringue. It sounds delicious, so I'll definitely be giving it a go, I know the children would love it. No doubt I will too.

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  27. I have to admit to adoring both meringue and pavlova. I only learnt how to make meringues a few years ago and I don't know what pleases me most eating them or marvelling that they actually worked out! Oddly I've never made the pavlova but have a colleague who makes the most divine creations. I really must have a go.

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  28. I love pavlova Amy and yours look wonderful!
    I only make littles pav but i will make a big some day. I will read yours tips:)

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  29. I first had pavlova in New Zealand while visiting my in-laws, so I assume it must have been pretty authentic. I really liked it. I've only made it once myself, and used parchment (silicone baking) paper as you've suggested. I think I put kiwi and strawberries on it. Thanks for sharing your techniques.

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  30. Yum!! I would top it with raspberries and black caps!! This looks delicious Amy!! Thanks for sharing your excellent tips for baking the pav, and I'll refer to this when I make it. And I WILL make it ... just need to work off a birthday cake from the weekend first ;) Wendy x

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  31. I will go bake!!! Thank you thank you for this!!! I have been around a lot of bakers in my day baking many a dish but I have never had this dessert and man...the way you described the inside of it with the contrasting outer layer paired with that fruit...makes me think heaven! I would really love to try this! I fear that I may goof up the eggs and not get the consistency correct but I think practice we anything is the way to go!! Awesomeness here lady and thank you for those tips about the foil and storage! A wonderful day to you tomorrow!! Nicole xoxo

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  32. Dear Amy, you save my saturday's dinner! Pavlova is so delicious and spectacular and your instructions and great photos will help a lot!
    Have a nice day!
    Olympia

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  33. They look so tasty, will definitely have to make one soon. I love the Australia decorated one in the post you mentioned - so clever :)

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    1. It is fantastic isn't it. I want to try and make one like that sometime, I really like the way that the states are delineated! xx

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  34. Yum!!! They delicious. I will be right over for some tea and leftovers.
    Meredith

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  35. Delicious. I have never thought of putting my favourite fruit , pineapple on a pav . I cant wait .thank you for such an informative post. I adore a good pavlova

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    1. The more fruit the easier to kid yourself that it is healthy!!! xx

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  36. This looks soooo delicious Amy. My favourite dessert.
    Patricia x

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  37. Wonderful!! It looks yummy and you have made me want to bake it right now! Have a lovely weekend, Amy! :)

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