Growing up, one of my favourite perks when having a birthday was choosing my cake. When I was younger I would always have an ice-cream cake which was perfect for my January summer birthday. Though as I got into my teens, my cake of choice was a pavlova.
My Mum would buy the pavlova from The Cheesecake Shop, and my requested toppings were always kiwifruit, strawberries and passionfruit. I was never too keen on the rockmelon.
Even now, for me those tart, fresh fruits are the perfect complement to the pavlova’s exceptionally sweet, light marshmallow meringue and crunchy exterior, and will always be my favourite combination.
Sometimes I feel tempted by recipes of chocolate pavlova with bright raspberries on top, or layers of meringue with lemon curd, but I always choose my favourite classic fruity Aussie pav.
The pavlova is definitely not for those who don’t like super sweet desserts. That was never an issue for me though, as I was a child who would secretly drink undiluted red cordial by the spoonful, as if I was in Mary Poppins (‘a spoonful of sugar…’). Terrible, I know. I’m lucky I still have all my teeth.
Judging by my 90’s-style over-sized tshirt and overall dagginess, I think this was my 13th or 14th birthday
It has been a while since I’ve celebrated a birthday with a pavlova, so when I heard about the Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop I jumped at the chance to participate and bake this cake with its retro memories.
Hosted by Le Delicieux, the blog hop invites bloggers worldwide to bake and post their pavlova on November 27. Our posts are then linked* up, and our readers can hop through the different blogs for a pavlova-fest. Enjoy!
Which pavlova flavour and toppings do you like best?
Recipe by Donna Hay via MasterChef
- 150ml egg white (approximately 4 eggs)
- 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn flour (corn starch), sifted
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- Pure cream, lightly whipped – I used between 250 – 300ml
- Fruit of your choice – I used 1 punnet strawberries, 2 kiwifruit and 4 passionfruit
- Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
- Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
- Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
- Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
- Decorate with your desired toppings.
- Use a metal bowl to whisk your egg whites if you have one, as this will help create stiff peaks. Wipe the inside of your bowl and your beaters with a cut lemon then rinse, as this will remove any grease residue which would affect your egg whites
- Sift your sifted cornflour over the glossy eggwhites, rather than just tipping them in. This will make it easier to evenly distribute
- I cooled my pavlova in the oven overnight
- Don’t worry if your pavlova cracks, Margaret Fulton’s does, and so does Nigella Lawson’s ;)
Stiff, glossy meringue
Mmm my favourite toppings!
After cooling overnight