Monday, May 23, 2016

Making Pavlova

Have you heard of Pavlova? It's a ridiculously delicious meringue-like dessert from Australia. I had never heard of it until Coco was a few weeks old and my dear friend Laura-Ann was hosting one of our weekly mama meet-ups at her apartment in Thalwil. When we arrived, she announced that she had made a Pavlova for us (which elicited gasps of joy from my friend Amyjo) but that it had fallen, so we'd just have to settle for some store bought treats. Oh well! Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I needed an idea for a dessert for the Mother's Tea at Coco's school. Laura-Ann recommended Pavlova and sent me the recipe. I decided to go for it. If it fell, I could always just stop in at Trader Joe's for some store bought treats, right?
Being married to an Aussie, and having lived there for many years, Laura-Ann loves Pavlova enough to have a giant framed Pavlova poster hanging in her home! She snapped a photo of the recipe part of the poster and sent it to me. Her mother-in-law doesn't like the particular poster Laura-Ann has, however, because above it says, "New Zealand's National Dessert" and her mother-in-law, of course, considers Pavlova to be Australian. The official jury is still out on that one, but both New Zealand and Australia consider it their own.
Beating egg whites just right is a fine art and one that always intimidates me. So, before I started, I watched this video to brush up on the main points of what to watch for and when to stop. Coco and Theo were absolutely fascinated. And I'm happy to say that the egg whites came out perfectly! Has anyone tried this glass bowl for the Kitchen Aid? I love the look of it!
Once I turned the Pavlova out onto the baking sheet, Coco and Theo got down to the important work of licking the whisk and spatula. 
The recipe Laura-Ann sent is in Celsius. First the oven is heated to 300 Fahrenheit, then as soon as the Pavlova is put in the oven, you lower the temperature to 285 Fahrenheit, and after 15 minutes, down to 250 Fahrenheit for another 1.25 hours. According to Laura-Ann, the most important thing when making Pavlova is leaving it in the oven afterward. You switch off the oven, open the door to vent and leave it there to cool completely. 
Once it's cooled completely, top with whipped cream and berries or fruit. Then it's ready to serve. I had absolutely no idea how to serve it, but I just grabbed a pie server and cut wedges and it worked out fine.
It's almost magical how the outside is crunchy and hardened, while the inside is soft and airy. After I served it up and took a bite, I realized that not only had I never made a Pavlova before, but I had never even eaten one before! I was instantly a devoted fan. I've already made two more since the Mother's Tea. It has been a huge hit with everyone. 

Coincidentally, after the Mother's Tea, my mom got her May issue of Better Homes & Gardens and Pavlova was the cover story! Their version has rosewater in it. I may just have to try that next! Rosewater is one of my favorite things of all time. Have you had Pavlova? If you try it for the first time, I highly recommend Laura-Ann's recipe! Make sure to let me know how it turns out! Enjoy. xo 

5 comments:

  1. My MIL makes these and now I do too. Its so easy yet eveyone thinks its so impressive. Your kids are gorgeous, by the way!

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    1. It's pretty rad, isn't it? The best part is that people are so impressed and think you labored over it for days...!! Our kids are getting so big. It's freaking me out!!! Thanks for your comment. xoxo

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  2. I've never seen this before. So weird and cool! Where on earth does one buy rosewater?! And now I want that kitchen aid glass bowl ;) (Also, I've been reading your blog for months and cannot believe this is the first post I'm commenting on!)

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    1. Well, thank you so much! That just makes my day. :) I was actually wondering the same thing about the rosewater. I have had it in things that I didn't make myself, and I have rosewater for cosmetic uses (kind of like witch hazel) but I've never purchased it myself for consuming/baking. So I found one on amazon that has high reviews and looks good and doesn't cost an arm and a leg: http://amzn.to/1sOwz7a I also included the link in the post if you're not in the mood to copy and paste! Thank you again for your comment!! xo

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  3. Hooray for pavlova! They were popular in England too (obvs the Aussie/Kiwi influence!) and I enjoyed making them. I mentioned one the other day to my mother and she said "a what?"....I forgot it's not an American thing. I just wanted to share an equally great recipe for the summer, from one of my favorite English cookbook authors, Nigel Slater. It's a no bake strawberry mascarpone tart and uh-mazing. If you or anyone else is pregnant, then go with pasteurized eggs from most places including Trader Joe's. I can devour nearly half a tart myself (greedy and glutinous yes). Recipe is found here http://leitesculinaria.com/44130/recipes-strawberry-mascarpone-tart.html
    x

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