SUMMER BERRY PAVLOVA
Pavlova is one of my most favorite dessert cake of all. It’s one dessert where you get to taste contrast of textures from soft and airy to crispy and strong, from sweet and creamy to fruity and tangy flavours, all bursting at once in you mouth.
When I moved to Australia couple of decades ago, I got to taste this super light and delicate fruity dessert for the first time. The cloudy and marshmallowy texture from inside with super crispy structures on the outside of this dessert was quite intriguing for me when I first had it.
It’s fascinating structure led me to know bit more about it and searched by talking to locals and found a very interesting story behind this super scrumptious dessert cake called Pavlova.
Pavlova cake was named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who visited both Australia and New Zealand on her tours. It’s claimed that both Australia and New Zealand are still fighting for the rights on who created this cake. It is still a debate who the real creator of this dessert is as the recipe exits in the oldest cookbooks of both the countries.
I make this so often in my dinner parties or even on some special occasions as my family and friends just love it. Taught this dessert many a times in my baking classes as it’s a regular demand of my students...
Usually this dessert is topped with light and airy whipped cream, with fruits of your choice, but I like to top it with whipped Greek yogurt, as I particularly like the balance of sweet and airy pavlova with tangy and creamy yogurt.
The beauty of this cake is not only how gorgeous and impressive it looks but also how easy it is to make once you know how. Read the Cooks Notes under the recipe for better understanding of baking the meringue and achieving best results. Try this by following step by step instructions and I’m sure once you made it, you will instantly fall in love with this super scrumptious and light dessert.
If you are making this recipe, please do share your picture and tag me on my instagram page #simranskitchenoman. Or share your results in the comments section below. It means the whole world to me by knowing someone is trying out my recipes. 😊
PREP TIME: 20 minutes BAKE TIME: 1 hour PASSIVE TIME: 2 hours or overnight SERVES: 10
4 egg whites, room temperature
225g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 tsp salt
For yogurt cream topping:
275g strained Greek yogurt
100g double cream
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
Zest of one orange or lime
2 cups of mixed berries like strawberry, raspberry and red currants
Few mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 130°C for fan 120° for gas oven.
To line a baking tray with parchment paper, using a cake pan, trace 8” circle on the paper with a pencil. Keep asking until used.
In a stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment, start whisking eggs on a low speed, gradually increasing the speed from low to medium to medium high whisk until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually until its glossy and no sugar crystal is felt when rubbing meringue in your fingers.
Now add sifted cornflour, vanilla, salt and vinegar, whisk for another minute to thoroughly combine them in meringue.
Place small dollops of meringue on four corners of the baking tray, place the traced parchment keeping pencil side down. With the rubber spatula scrape meringue and drop it in the center of marked circle. Spread to shape the meringue keeping it up to the marked circle. Make a little well in the center for the filling, about 3/4 inch deep.
If you wish to make the meringue look more pretty, make upwards stroke lines. With the back of spatula or spoon, gently move from bottom to top to create lines.
Place the meringue in the middle rack of the oven, bake it for an hour. Turn off and leave the meringue inside the oven for 15 minutes. Then slightly open door (ajar) for up to 2 hours or overnight until the meringue and oven are completely cool.
Carefully slide off the meringue on to the cake stand or a platter, removing the parchment paper.
For yogurt cream topping:
Just before serving, whip the double cream with hand whisk until soft peaks are formed. Add yogurt, sugar and orange zest, whisk to combine.
Drop the yogurt cream into the well of meringue and spread. Cut strawberries in quarters, arrange on top along with other berries. Garnish with some mint leaves.
It’s important to have the eggs at room temperature. Always start whisking at a low speed and increase gradually to ensure consistent formation of bubble size. Whisk the eggs until soft peaks are formed and then start adding the sugar. If the eggs are not whisked until soft peaks, it won’t have a steady and consistent structure.
Add the sugar gradually in 4 batches, after the 45 second interval. Meringue is ready when you don’t feel any sugar grains when rubbed between your fingers.
Meringue base can be prepared a day in advance but dress with cream and fruits only just before serving.
Keep the oven temperature to 120°C. Higher temperature will brown your meringue exterior. Stay consistent in temperature throughout the baking. Do not mess with it once the cake is inside.
Never be tempted to open the oven door once the cake is inside as it may deflate your meringue. Let the meringue set at consistent temperature and create structure behind closed oven door.
Once the meringue is baked, turn the oven off, leave to cool inside for 20 minutes with doors closed. It’s important to cool the meringue inside the oven completely, leaving the door ajar for up to 2 hours or overnight. Sudden temperature change is the biggest cause of heavy cracks in the meringue.
It is better to eat the cake the same day. If you must, to preserve some leftover, it can be refrigerated for one day but will lose some texture.