Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kiwi's Favourite Pavlova

The first Pavalova I have made for 2012, topped with Crème Chantilly
and fresh Strawberries and blueberries.
I thought I would start my blog with my all-time favourite desert - the Pavlova.

Christmas is an occasion most people associate with white snow and freezing cold temperature.  However, here down-under in good old summery New Zealand, it is the occasion where people dust off their BBQ, drink beer and more importantly eat a Pavlova!

Most of you may wonder what is a Pavlova?  "It is a meringue-based desert named after the famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova"  It is basically a meringue with corn flour and vinegar  added to it.

Many New Zealanders that I have met so far have spent their lives battling to make a Pavlova, however I have been fortunate enough to have acquire a "fool's-proof" recipe from a family friend and never knew of this battle.  The crunchy, caramelised centre is a decadent contrast to the soft sugary marshmallow like centre.  It is best accompanied with citrous fruit (here with strawberries and blueberries in summer) and Crème Chantilly.  In winter I like to top it off with mandarin or defrosted frozen berries.  You wouldn't want to top it off with fruits such as apple and pear because you don't want to take away the already crunchy texture of the Pavlova.  For weight conscious people, this desert is equally indulgent with a fruity yoghurt.

If you never made one before or are one of those amongst many New Zealanders who are still in the Pavlova battle, check out "Wynnie's Pavlova" for my fool-proof recipe.  Check out my recipe page for my collection of recipes with my tips to ensure a satisfying belly Recipes.

Wynnie's Pavlova
This is one of the first deserts I tried in New Zealand made by a family friend Jill Thomas.  Jill got this fool-proof recipe from her belated friend Wynnie and hence named after her.  For the enthusiastic people, I find Step 2 best done by hand whisking.  However if you don't have the time or arm-muscles or just don't like the hassle, electric whisk is perfectly adequate!

3 egg whites
1 1/4 cup of caster sugar (ideally vanilla sugar)
3 tablespoons of water
Pinch of salt
3 teaspoon of corn flour
1 teaspoon of white vinegar (actually, any vinegar would do but just not balsamic if you want to make this vanilla Pavlova)
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

100 mL cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
Grated/shaved dark chocolate (for decoration)
Seasonal fruit (sliced up) – blueberry, strawberry, mandarins and kiwi fruits work very well.
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C, oven bake.  Line oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Whisk egg whites until fine white bubble forms.  Add 3 tablespoon of cold water, 1 spoon at a time.
  3. Add sugar slowly from the outside in small amounts until mixed well.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mixed gently.
  5. Pour out onto wax paper to about 15cm in diameter and 5 cm height.
  6. Bake for 30-40 min.  Leave in oven to cool.
  7. Whip the cream with sugar while waiting baking.  Pour cream on top of the cooled pavlova, spread and decorate with grated/shaved chocolate and fruits.

For Dairy-Free option, leave out the cream.

Tips: use fresh and large eggs!  If you refrigerate your eggs, take your eggs out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature first before whisking, you tend to get a better meringue.  Regarding to cold water, not tap water temperature but chilled water, easiest to add ice cubes.  When I say "whisk until bubble forms", you must be very patient at this stage to ensure the "bubbles" formed are small and fine (you tend to find the egg whites have doubled in volume), but be careful not to over whisk!!!

This is what the final product should look like or similar ^.^


  1. Actually balsamic is really nice in pavlovas ;-) Somewhere I have a balsamic and brown sugar pavlova recipe which is to die for...

  2. Really - oh my! I suppose it would be great for a Chocolate Pavlova as well then...noted! Since I usually only make Vanilla Pavlova XD

  3. What sort of camera or lighting do you use for your food photos? Anything special or is it a standard digi camera?

  4. The first photo is taken by a DSLR - Nikon D5100 with a 50mm/f1.8 lens normal lighting :) I find this lens gives that crisp sharp finish.