Have you ever started making carbonara and ended up making a pavlova?
The answer for me is yes. You are probably wondering what is the connection between carbonara and pavlova. The question is reasonable and so its answer. In order to make an original carbonara (you can find the recipe that I always use by clicking here) you will need egg yolks, while in order to make pavlova you will need egg whites. You see? It’s almost necessary to accompany carbonara with pavlova. Pavlova is an airy dessert made from crisp meringue shell topped with whipped cream and fruits.
I have read from food52.com that it has been a long standing battle between Australia and New Zealand as to who invented the pavlova but it seems the meringue-based dessert originated entirely elsewhere.
It is said that the pavlova is named after the famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. As the New Zealand story goes, the chef of a Wellington hotel at the time created the billowy dessert in her honor, claiming inspiration from her tutu. Australians, on the other hand, believe the pavlova was invented at a hotel in Perth, and named after the ballerina when one diner declared it to be “light as Pavlova.”
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first mention of a dessert called pavlova appeared in a 1927 cookbook called Davis Dainty Dishes, put out in New Zealand by the Davis Gelatine company. But that recipe is for a multi-layered jelly, so it does little to settle the debate. New Zealanders, however, claim any pavlova recipe is proof enough that they invented pavlova, and that recipes for the meringue pavlova appeared on their little island soon after. Australians counter that: Even if New Zealanders get credit for the name, an Aussie chef is responsible for inventing the true pavlova we know today, they say. But the most recent research, by Dr. Andrew Paul Wood and Annabelle Utrecht (a New Zealander and an Australian, respectively), suggests that the true pavlova has roots in Germany and America. The duo told the Australian website Good Food that they had found somewhere over 150 recipes for meringue-based cakes that look an awful lot like pavlova, all published before Anna Pavlova even arrived down under in 1926!
In the end, neither New Zealand nor Australia can really claim to have birthed the pavlova: They didn’t invent the recipe, and they weren’t even the first to name a dessert after the dancer (Wood and Utrecht found a recipe for “strawberries Pavlova” dating from 1911). But one of them was probably the first to put the name to that recipe, and both of them deserve the credit for keeping this dessert alive and well while all the other dishes named Pavlova didn’t make it past the era when a ballerina was the biggest star in the world.
What about my pavlova? I tried to make pavlova on Sunday for the very first time. The result was quite mouthwatering!
For making the meringue I used the following:
- 150 g egg whites (it’s about 4 eggs)
- pinch of salt
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 packet vanilla powder
First you have to preheat the oven to 100* C (210* F) fan.
Then, beeat the egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer on high speed. The salt helps the meringue stiffen faster. In some recipes instead of salt they use cream of tartar, but I didn’t have any. Then add the caster sugar but do not beat much longer after you add it, just enough to incorporate the caster sugar.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a pencil, mark out the circumference of a dinner plate on baking parchment, then trasfer the meringue. Carefully spread within a circle, creating a slight dip in the middle.
Bake for at least one and a half hour, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven. The exterior of the pavlova have to be cooked but the interior have to be chewy.
My post have become to black. Let’s add some colour!
I have topped the pavlova with a delicious raspberry sauce. You can add whipped cream and fresh fruits if you want. For making the raspberry sauce you will need:
- 2 cups of fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
In a small pot, combine 1 cup of the raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining 1 cup raspberries and pour into bowl to cool.
When pavlova have cooled transfer it to a plate and pour raspberry sauce on top. If desired top with whipped cream or ice cream and the add raspberry sause on top.
P.S.: You have to eat it very very quickly…the ice cream will melt!