A recipe surrounded with contentious debate whether its origin is Australia or New Zealand. Either way, we love the pavlova for its crunchy, crisp exterior and its soft marshmallowy inside. It has everything a dessert should have without being too heavy.
Serves 8–10 • Makes one 30 cm pavlova wreath • Preparation time
50 minutes • Cooking time 1 hour 10 minutes plus cooling time
8 egg whites, at room temperature
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) caster
300 ml (10½ fl oz) Vanilla Whipped Cream, to decorate
750 g (1 lb 10 oz) mixed fresh berries
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. With a pencil, draw a large circle approximately 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter, then draw a second circle measuring 10 cm (4 inches) in the middle. Turn the paper pencil-side down on the tray.
Put the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stir for about 5–7 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. At this stage the mixture will be warm.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg white and sugar mixture until thick and the mixture has cooled, approximately 10–15 minutes.
Spoon onto the prepared tray and shape into a wreath using the circles as a guide.
Turn the oven temperature down to 100°C (200°F) and place the pavlova wreath in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the wreath in the oven to cool completely.
Top with lashings of vanilla whipped cream and copious amounts
of mixed berries.
Vanilla Whipped Cream
Makes about 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) • Preparation time 10 minutes • Cooking time nil
½ vanilla bean
300 ml (10½ fl oz) thin (pouring) cream
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
Split the half vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds using the tip of a sharp knife.
Combine the cream, vanilla seeds and sugar in a bowl and use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.
Recipes and images from The Cook and Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa (Murdoch Books) $49.99 available now. Buy the book here.
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