Posted on Friday, 30th April 2010 by Grace Massa Langlois
Pavlova, a slice of heaven on a plate! One of my favourite shows, MasterChef Australia, kicked off their second season with Donna Hay as the guest judge. The contestants had to create the Best Pavlova using Donna’s recipe.
I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a Pavlova let alone ever made one, it appears I wasn’t alone, 8 out of the 10 contestants had never made one either.
After watching the series opener I was inspired to create a Pavlova of my own. Donna gave the contestants some Pavlova tips before they went off to recreate her Pavlova, no egg yolk in the egg whites, measure the egg whites precisely, whip the egg whites to the perfect peak stage, start adding sugar but make sure you add gradually to achieve a glossy outer crust on your Pavlova and a firm but marshmallow inside. Donna stressed to the contestants that although the recipe had few ingredients so many things could go wrong in the making of the dessert.
I’ve never been so nervous making a dessert, what pressure. I think I studied my egg whites for 5 minutes making sure not a speck of egg yolk was visible and ensuring I measured properly.
I decided to decorate my Pavlova simply with sweetened whipped cream, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Everything was going so smooth, I thought what is all the fuss about, this dessert isn’t so difficult to make, I started to add the strawberries, then the blackberries and before I got to the raspberries, my Pavlova collapsed on the one side. Two minutes away from the photo shoot this couldn’t possibly be happening.
Luckily, with a little fancy footwork I was able to save it and in the end, I was more than pleased with the results.
The Pavlova was crispy on the outside (at least 3/4 of it was), light and fluffy on the inside and oh so delicious, this dessert is heaven on earth. I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of Donna Hay’s recipes. Donna has some amazing cake recipes as well. If you like chocolate Donna’s Chocolate Mud Cake and Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake are to die for deliciousness!
At some point I would love to try Mowie’s Vanilla and Ginger Pavlova recipe. If you have a chance you must visit Mowie’s site Mowielicious. I could spend the entire day browsing through his recipes and admiring his photography!
And of course I must also try Meeta’s Chocolate Pavlova. I am a huge chocolate lover and Meeta has given us double the chocolate by layering her Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. How could I resist?
(recipe from Donna Hay)
- 150 ml egg white (approximately 4 eggs)
- 1 cup (220 g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 cup (250 ml) single (pouring) cream
- Preheat oven to 150° C (300° F). Place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
- Add the cornstarch and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18 cm 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. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pavlova, top with whatever topping you desire and serve immediately. Serves 8 – 10
*You’ll know when the meringue is stiff and glossy because the mixture will have tripled in volume and stands up when the beaters are lifted.
* The low heat puffs up the meringue while the long cooking time dries it out to give you a lovely crisp shell.
*Store your pavlova, undressed, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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Tags: afternoon tea, cake, cakes, dessert, desserts, desserts for entertaining, Donna Hay recipes, egg whites, entertaining, food, food photography, food photos, fruit, fruit toppings, meringue, meringue recipes, pavlova, Summer desserts
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