Piece of Cake // Pavlova

There’s a big debate between Aussies and Kiwis as to where the Pavlova originated. And if you ask either, they will say their home country. As an Australian, it definitely started in Australia (like most good things TBH  – New Zealand you can take back Russell Crowe anytime)

Now, I like to make the Pav for special occasions – dinner parties, birthday parties and even on Christmas or New Year. Even though there’s a few steps and ingredients, I promise you it’s really not that difficult. Also, a huge bonus is that you can make it the day before (just don’t dress it, wait until just before your guests arrive so the meringues stay crisp yet fluffy)

There are two elements to the Pavlova – the meringues and the cream (with fruit)

Piece of Cake // Pavlova - The Modern East

For the meringue you’ll need:

6 large free range egg whites

300g caster sugar

2 big flat baking trays

For the topping you’ll need:

400g strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries OR if you want to put an Arabic twist on it, swap these out for figs and pomegranates!

200ml double cream

200ml natural yoghurt

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

Mint for garnish

Making the meringue

Piece of Cake // Pavlova - The Modern East

  1. First things first preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius
  2. Separate the egg whites and the yolks and pop them in a clean big mixing bowl. Tip: do them one by one into a container so you don’t accidentally mix in the yolk with the whites. It won’t whip up properly if there’s anything else but egg whites in there!
  3. Whisk on medium with either the electric beaters or KitchenAid until nice firm peaks are formed (you can do this the old school way with a regular whisk but must warn you this will take forever and your arm might just give up!). You’ll know if it’s ready if you turn the bowl upside down and nothing falls out.
  4. Keep the mixer running and slowly add in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Once all the sugar and salt is in the meringue bang the mixer up to the highest setting for 7 or 8 minutes until it’s white, glossy and silky smooth. If you feel like it’s a little grainy still, whisk for a tiny bit longer but be careful to not overdo it – the meringue can collapse.
  5. Pop the baking paper onto the baking trays and then divide the meringue mixture between them. The mixture on the trays should be placed in a big circle. Dab your spoon on top to give it some peaks and texture (this is what gives you the crunch)
  6. Pop both trays into the oven for 1 hour or until the meringues look a little golden (but super fluffy in the middle).
  7. Once done, turn off the oven but don’t open the door. The meringues need to cool slowly so they don’t crack too much (they will crack a little and this is not only OK but encouraged)

Now to the topping!

Piece of Cake // Pavlova - The Modern East

  1. Whilst the meringues are baking, wash and chop up your strawberries
  2. Whip the cream with the sugar until beautiful soft peaks appear (think when you lift the beaters they leave a little mountain that stays put)
  3. Halve the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out all the delicious vanilla seeds and fold them into the whipped cream
  4. Gently stir the yoghurt into the vanilla whipped cream
  5. Dress the pavlova about 30 minutes before your guests arrive by spooning half the delicious yoghurt creamy mixture on the bottom layer meringue and then randomly sprinkle the berries on top.
  6. Gently stack the next meringue layer on top and repeat by popping the other half of the creamy mixture and be more intentional in how and where you place the berries on top. Grab a few mint leaves and scatter and top
  7. Voila! Pavlova dreams brought to life! Trust me, this will give you some serious baking street cred!

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