My first Pavlova
For some reason I can't seem to totally get rid of egg whites. But seeing some in the fridge turned out to be an advantage because I can finally try making Pavlova. Australia and New Zealand are both claiming to have started it first in honor of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova but I could care less who did it first. I just want to make it. I have the egg whites, cream of tartar, cornstarch, caster sugar, pure vanilla extract and vinegar and the toppings are just waiting for their cue.
Since this is the first time I'm making it, I have to search the net for the best recipe. I'm not gonna name the famous chefs with all their versions but all of them have so much sugar in their recipe. I was horrified to see a cup of caster sugar for four egg whites? That is just way too sweet for me. The recipe is easy since I've worked with angel food cakes and meringues so many times and is quite comfortable with it. Pavlova may very well be a close cousin so no problem there.
So I worked on my Pavlova - two cups of egg whites using only a quarter of a cup of caster sugar. And that's because I still have to sweeten my heavy cream and the other sweetness will come from the fruit toppings.
My Pavlova was huge but not tall and yet it took long to bake because of bake-on-low factor. I had to bring it to my room after baking because it was so hot last night and I can't put it in the fridge.
Comes morning today and I'm all excited to dress up Miss Pavlova and of course- to sample it. I whipped my special cream which is basically heavy cream, confectioner's sugar and a lot of love. Can you beat that? :-)
I was lucky to get really sweet and beautiful berries so they gave Miss Pavlova a nice look.
Then comes the most exciting part- tasting! There was no cracking sound as I sliced it- my knife just glided easily. Minus one point. I read that Miss Pavlova should have a crunchy exterior and marshmallow-y center. The center is just soft like a soft meringue- like my Brazo de Mercedes. Another point less.
But..... the taste is just awesome! It was perfectly sweet (my kind)and light and fresh and it has some crunch on the outside although still far from a real Pavlova.
I may have failed in capturing the actual texture of Miss Pavlova but it was delicious so it was not a total failure. I still had a nice dessert and as I always say after a flawed creation- I'll try to do a good job next time and definitely not on humid condition and hopefully nail it then.