It seems ironic that although I was born and raised in New Zealand (where the pavlova was invented) and now live in Australia (where some misinformed people WRONGLY believe the pavlova was invented) I was extremely nervous about attempting to bake a Pavlova.
My mum used to make fantastic pavs when I was a kid – high, fluffy, chewy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth inside. Then something changed (did they buy a new oven? I can’t remember) and all her pavs after that came out flat, crisp and brittle. And often burnt. I thought that if pavs had turned on my mum I would certainly never be able to make one successfully. Also I was a bit wary of the beaten egg-whites, which sounded very time-consuming and complicated.
Despite my trepidations the Pavlova turned out brilliantly:
Here it is fresh from its 3½ hour stint in the oven – and how weird is that, I put it in the oven, watched a game of rugby and it still needed cooking – perhaps a bit flatter than we might like, perhaps a tiny bit cracked but glossy and gorgeous anyway.
After the application of raspberry and chocolate whipped cream we had this:
Seriously so good. The berry whipped cream added a tiny bit of tartness to cut the sweetness – and my god, it was sweet! My teeth were aching from the sugar, and considering my teeth are 95% plastic that’s quite an achievement.
So the Pavlova was a roaring success and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself and my rock-on baking prowess right now.