What is a Pavlova?
Anna Pavlova was a Russian ballerina who performed in Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Inspired by her lightness (or perhaps by the lightness of her tutu) a baker created this dessert. It is not quite clear in which country… Both countries, Australia and New Zealand, are convinced that it happened in their country. The fact is that the airy, light meringue cake, decorated with fruit and cream, is considered a national dish in both countries, in which it’s very popular to eat.
And I perfectly understand that. It is wonderfully sweet, but thanks to the fruit also fruity and fresh.
It can be prepared and eaten all year round. Depending on the season, other fruits used to decorate this cake will vary.
I usually bake it in spring, when I have a lot of egg whites left from my Béarnaise sauce. If I don’t have any use for spice merengues (or already have too many) I will conjure up a pavlova. You don’t have to be able to cook especially well for it, while it is quickly prepared. It just needs a long time in the oven, because it is not baked, but dried.
The Pavlova should still be moist inside, but crispy on the outside.
The best way to make it work is to prepare the baking tray and preheat the oven to 200°C. The baking tray will then be ready for baking. Place a baking parting foil on the tray and then form a cake with the meringue mixture, about 20 cm in diameter. I find it easier to pour the mixture into a cake tin ring and then remove the ring.
Here is the recipe
Fruit Pavlova (base) for about 6 people
- 5 egg whites
- 230 g sugar
- 1 tsp light vinegar
- Possible spices as described above (2-3 tsp)
Beat the egg white until stiff, then let the sugar trickle in and beat vigorously again until the mixture is shiny and very dense. Then add the vinegar and the spices (if you want to use them) and beat again until fine-pored.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake ring and then remove the mixture from the ring with a spatula and carefully lift off the ring. If you do not have a cake ring, you can shape the cake yourself.
After preheating to 200 °C, reduce the heat to 150 °C, bake the cake on the lowest groove for 15 minutes, keeping the door slightly open with a wooden stick. The cake should now be slightly brown on the outside. Reduce the heat to 120 °C and allow to dry for another 1 1/2 hours. Now the cake is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Remove Pavlova from the oven and let it cool down.
- 2.5 dl cream or half-fat cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- Fruit, according to season and taste
Whip cream with the sugar until stiff, spread over the meringues cake and decorate with fruit.