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I had an amazing Pavlova at a restaurant yesterday which inspired me to make again this lovely summer dessert. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside but not wet soft, more creamy soft with only a touch of chewiness.

I was surprised to discover that there is no topic dedicated to Pavlova, so thought of starting one.

How do you like and make your Pavlovas? Can you share your winning recipes and tricks that make a difference?

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Hell yeah! I LOVE pavlova and hope there will come some brilliant recipes here.

When it cvome sto the consistency of the meringue, there's two ways to do it as I see it, and each ahs it's own ... congregation; crispy all the way through or sticky in the center. I like both, as long as it's fluffy enough, but I prefere the sticky center I usually takes it out the meringue of the oven and let it cool off there to make it sticky in the center. If you leave it in the oven with the door slightly open, it will become crisp all the way through.

My favourite topping is mascarpone cream and raspberries. Mix mascarpone 50/50 with whipped cream and a dash of flour sugar and vanilla sugar and top with lots of fresh rasberries. Yum.

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I have recently tried (for me) new meringue recipe where you mix egg white with sugar and when it's at hard peaks, fold some icing sugar in it. I'll play with this and some acids to see if I can get this to work in Pavlova. And I second the mascarpone topping, also with some vanilla seed in the cream, raspberries and some mint (or basil, for variation)

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We can't have a pavlova topic without a New Zealander involved (and I'll get in before the Aussies claim it. Again).

I wrote about my particular version in my eG foodblog a couple of years ago, starting here. The recipe I use is a doubling of the one in the NZ classic Edmond's Cookbook, but my secret ingredient is my stand mixer and really beating air into it. The substance that comes out of the mixer onto the baking tray is the most amazingly white thing I've ever produced in the kitchen. I cook at 150°C for around 45-50 minutes, then turn the oven off. The result is everything a pav should be - crunchy on the outside, squishy in the middle. And of course terribly unhealthy. This latter problem is addressed by smothering in lots of whipped cream and dropping on copious fruit. There are those who say you can't have a pav without kiwifruit. I don't insist on that; kiwifruit is good, but so are the mixed berries I used in the foodblog version.

And a tip for those of us who make our own ice cream - pav's a great way to use up your spare egg whites.


Edited by lesliec Missed apostrophe (log)

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In the interests of internet harmony, I'll just agree that a gooey centre is vital.

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Leslie! Your recipe is fantastic! I was too eager to taste so I cracked one (of the 6 mini pav's made from half the recipe) and it is great. Soft interior but not wet or sticky, only slightly chewy. I want ahead and ate it without any cream or fruit - that requires a 5 min supermarket trip and I just could not contain myself.

Few changes I made:

- Halved the batch

- used apple cider honey flavoured vinegar

- baked 30 mins at 150C and 30 mins at 100C.

- made 6 small ones

I am happy to test other recipes if people would be so kind to share. For the sake of good old rivalry, at least one Ozzie would have to take on the challenge.

Off to buy mascarpone and fruit, will post some pics later.


Edited by Bojana (log)

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My vote is for chewy centres, I myself don't like dry meringue.

I believe the British are also fond of pavlovas, I own a couple of Nigella Lawson books, and there's a recipe in both of them (maybe the same recipe, lol). Usually I've had it topped with whipped cream (instead of mascarpone) and fruit, whatever's in season. Rhubarb, or berries are my first choices.

Looking forward to the pics!

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Ok, I have to come clean... the photos I promised never had a chance to be made. I took my pavlova's to a beach picnic that included 5 toddlers (of which 2 were mine) and they disappeared before I could say cheese.

Feeling guilty, I made another batch, using the same recipe. However, I made them neater (piping) and smaller (8 instead of 6) and played with baking temp. I started at 130C to get somewhat thinner crust, after 30 mins they were still wet in the center so I gave them 20 more mins. That was apparently way too much, they ended being cardboard dry throughout and I did not like them at all. They look pretty though, served with mascarpone creme freche vanilla cream and side of home made crema catalana ice cream.

Will just have to make another batch soon to get it right. Anyone has advice how to check for when pavs are done, for any given size? Sticking Thermapen in? What should be the temperature?

Photos of the second batch:

1.JPG2.JPG3.JPG

The only photo of the great first batch:

4.JPG

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I wrote about my particular version in my eG foodblog a couple of years ago, starting here. The recipe I use is a doubling of the one in the NZ classic Edmond's Cookbook, but my secret ingredient is my stand mixer and really beating air into it.

I've drooled over your blog before when searching for pavlova recipes as ice cream by-products. I am a bit worried about pasteurization, so I make munalavgekook instead:

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/144208-home-made-ice-cream-2013/?p=1907948

But curiosity is getting the better of me and I'd like to try pavlova. (Besides, I have a freezer full of munalavgekook.) For those of us without a copy of the Edmonds Cookery Book, could you list the recipe?

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Here are leslie's instructions, can be found on his blog page 5 i believe:

For the six egg whites one from yesterday), add 30ml of cold water after the initial beat, and keep beating. Pour in 425g of caster sugar (normal sugar may not dissolve properly and you'll get a different result). Slow down the mixer - or stop it - and add 30ml each of vinegar and vanilla extract, and 20g cornflour (cornstarch). Cook at 150°C for an hour, turn the oven off and leave the pav in there to cool. All the measurements above were simply doubled from the three egg original with no science applied, but it works. As does tripling for a nine egg whopper. Good luck - let us all see the results.

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Feeling guilty, I made another batch, using the same recipe. However, I made them neater (piping) and smaller (8 instead of 6) and played with baking temp. I started at 130C to get somewhat thinner crust, after 30 mins they were still wet in the center so I gave them 20 more mins. That was apparently way too much, they ended being cardboard dry throughout and I did not like them at all. They look pretty though, served with mascarpone creme freche vanilla cream and side of home made crema catalana ice cream.

Will just have to make another batch soon to get it right. Anyone has advice how to check for when pavs are done, for any given size? Sticking Thermapen in? What should be the temperature?

Photos of the second batch

The only photo of the great first batch

Bojana, those look awesome, you had me drooling over your pics. I have a chocolate project to finish this week, but after that I am hoping for some ice-cream and pavlova action. Hopefully mine will look as good as yours and Leslie's. :smile:

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Hi people. Sorry, been away on a training course for a few days, but it looks like you're managing just fine without me!

Yep, the recipe as quoted by Bojana is how I do mine. As I said, it's a doubling of everything from the original, so halving mine to make a smaller version, or a bunch of little ones, is (almost) guaranteed to work. I can't help with an internal temperature, but it sounds like 10 minutes extra would have been plenty for Bojana's.

Jo, I guess the yolks can be pasteurised separately so they won't be an issue. Maybe that's a project for you - test the internal temp of a pav at the end of 'powered' cooking time (before leaving it in the oven to sit) and see how close it is to pasteurisation temperature. Inquring minds are waiting.

Diana, don't worry about how they look. Mine go into the oven looking amazing, huge, high, all those good things, but invariably crack and collapse before I take them out. That's what the whipped cream is for - camouflage! I'm not sure if you can use the words 'elegant' and 'Pavlova' in the same sentence, unless perhaps you're talking about the dancer.

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Sorry for the delay. Because of the weather I had not felt up to preparing ice cream mix. But now I have a six egg batch of pavlova in the oven! I followed Leslie's instructions as given by Bojana, with the addition of cream of tarter at the start. Six egg whites makes a lot. The meringue was climbing out of the six quart mixer bowl, and the KitchenAid motor was groaning. I don't think I shall attempt a nine egg version soon.

Oh, and I also mixed the cornstarch with the sugar, rather than adding them sequentially. I used apple cider vinegar. And half vanilla extract and half vanilla paste, as I did not have enough extract on hand.

I must say I had never heard the word "pavlova" applied to a dessert until I joined eGullet. My mother made baked merigues like this but they were just called "merigues", and as I recall it was considered a defect if they came out soft in the center. She also made baked Alaska (but not nearly often enough).

I'll report back with my results!

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Update: I'm not so sure about this.

Like something out of the Mary Shelley cookbook, last I looked, my six pavlovae had fused together into a somewhat more than half sheet sized confection that was attempting to leave the oven. Maybe I used a bit too much yeast [joke].

Sorry, I did not take its temperature.

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I never new it's called Pavlova) I love berries and make some "modifications of Pavlova" frequently)

I not sure how it's called but my oven has heavy cast iron plates inside so it stays warm for long time. I make small meringues and cook them at 100°C for 60...80 minutes (that depends on size) and leave them inside till morning. And get crispy tiny 4...6 inch meringues. I also add few balsamic vinegar drops to get color of caramel and hard peaks faster. And one more thing, I always use a bit warmed Dry!! bowl for whipping. And cooled egg whites - but that's no surprise)

Any more tips?

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Yeast in a pav? Now there's a concept ...

They can get a little stroppy (must be the colonial heritage; we're all a bit like that sometimes, but Australians are worse). My worst experience was when I put the mix into metal tubes, trying to make very tidy little cylinders. Total disaster; they stuck solidly to the inside of the tubes.

One great pile in the middle of some parchment paper on a baking tray is almost guaranteed to work. No promises if you fiddle with it!

I like the idea of using different vinegars. Might have to try that to see what difference it makes. And 'pavlovae' is inspired!

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I can report that it was not too bad for a first attempt. I broke off chunks and served it with blueberries, which are just coming into season here, vanilla ice cream (a very good batch), and unsweetened whipped cream. Texture of the pavlova was crunchy outside and just a little soft inside. Color was not as white as in the pictures. Mine was more beige. The problem is the taste, maybe more the aftertaste, is a bit powdery? Can't think of a better term to describe it. I was wondering if the taste could be due to cornstarch? If I had been making a merigue I would have followed a similar procedure but left out the cornstarch.

Another problem is there is a *lot* of it and I can't think of a better place to store it than my oven.

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In my local bit of Aussieland the general consensus is a pav should be marshmallowy in the centre, and toppings must include banana and passion fruit.

I don't make them often myself (too many locals do a far superior one to me) but I believe the cornflour stabilises the mixture and contributes to the interior softness. If your pav was slightly beige and only a little soft I think your temp was too high, and possibly too long in cooking.

To make mine last longer in a small household, we usually cut a piece then decorate individually with cream and fruit. Less spectacular, though.

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Beige is fine - it recalls the colour of the New Zealand cricket team's uniforms some years ago! Mine are spectacularly white when they go in the oven but always pick up a bit of colour before they come out.

I'm not sure about the powderyness. Compared to everything else the cornflour makes up a fairly small element. It's possible there are regional variations; I had understood our cornflour = your cornstarch, but perhaps there are differences.

Leftovers are never a problem for us! If by chance there is some the next day, it won't be as crisp on the outside and may not be as pretty, but will still taste just fine.

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The outside tastes better than the inside. Everytime I pass by I shamelessly break off a piece. (I finally had to remove the pavlova from the oven because of baking bread last night.) For some reason the inside, the softer part, tastes a little off. But the outside does not have the powdery taste I had complained of.

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Here are leslie's instructions, can be found on his blog page 5 i believe:

For the six egg whites one from yesterday), add 30ml of cold water after the initial beat, and keep beating. Pour in 425g of caster sugar (normal sugar may not dissolve properly and you'll get a different result). Slow down the mixer - or stop it - and add 30ml each of vinegar and vanilla extract, and 20g cornflour (cornstarch). Cook at 150°C for an hour, turn the oven off and leave the pav in there to cool. All the measurements above were simply doubled from the three egg original with no science applied, but it works. As does tripling for a nine egg whopper. Good luck - let us all see the results.

Hi, adding water is not something usually found on pavlova recipes, so I wonder what its function and effects are. Given that cooking the Pavlova is really a matter of drying rather than "baking" it, the extra water seems to defeat this purpose, at first sight?

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I'm having a bowl of pavlova with blueberries and whipped cream at the moment. For some reason the pavlova tastes better to me several days old than when it was freshly baked. This is well, as there is about two thirds of it left.

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I can't fault the blueberries and whipped cream, but two thirds of a pav remaining after a few days?!? Really, Jo, you're not trying hard enough ...

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