Alright, be gentle with me here. I'm venturing into the strange world of recipes, which I have done once or twice sometime ago on my blog…when my hair was still long. That's a long time ago. I also really tried in all earnest to style my pictures, a little, but I'm so not used to setting up shots...
Shortly after returning from the Eat Drink Blog Conference, Christine (from The Hungry Australian) tweeted about 'The Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop' she had planned with a couple of other bloggers. So of course, a week out of the due date for the blog hop, I figured, why don't I try one? I'd like an excuse to take pretty pictures....be sure to visit Delicieux for other food bloggers Pavlova recipes!
I'm not all too useful in the kitchen usually, but I am pretty okay when it comes to the Kitchenaid and the oven. This is at least one thing that I have managed to pick up from mum, as the kitchen is usually filled with the smells of freshly baked cakes and cookies at least twice a week due to her baking endeavours.
She hasn't done pavlova's recently, but she does tend to enjoy making them when summer is coming about and we have guests trotting around the house. This is usually after a plethora of barbecued meat and fennel and orange salads (one of her favourites. Mine too). She switches up between making one big pavlova in which we slice out wedges of goodness, or she also makes them for individual portions. Hand sized discs of pavlova goodness piled on with the fruit. Mmhmm!
Unfortunately though, mum was away when my desire for pavlova making happened, so although I didn't have her around, I did have her cookbooks and made use of a rather old school, but old faithful. The World Encyclopedia of Fruit, by Kate Whiteman and Maggie Mayhew. It's in surprisingly good shape for how old it is when I think about it…I opted to make just one big circle of deliciousness, based on their recipe for a Fresh Berry Pavlova.
Mum still had a few things to add via whatsapp of course though!
I changed a few things in the recipe, as I thought I had cornflour at home, but didn't. I know it's supposed to be the key to the pavlova, but I still found mine had a pretty good texture, crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallowy on the inside. So I went without the teaspoon that the recipe suggests. I think maybe cause I unintentionally left in the oven overnight to cool, that might have helped with achieving the consistency needed for a pavlova. I also didn't have cider vinegar, but another recipe I referenced used white vinegar, so I went with that instead.
So yup, I fail at following recipes basically, but the internet gives me enough substitutions for everything….
I find fresh raspberries a little expensive at the moment, so I went with the next best thing and used mangoes instead. Sure. Why not? I love the brightness mangoes bring to a dessert, they make me think much more of summer, sitting on the deck with a gin and tonic, suckling away the flesh around the mango seed. In hindsight actually, I should have been more generous with the fruit, as there was a lot of cream in the cream to fruit ratio, but ah well. Still pretty tasty yo.
So here is my modified pavlova recipe....
4 egg whites
(should be room temperature, but I absentmindedly chucked mine in to the fridge for 30 minutes or so after coming back from the supermarket…)
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 1/4 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup sour cream
(I was out of Creme Fraiche)
1 cup blueberries
1 ripe mango
(I chopped mine into rough pieces)
Fresh mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 140 C/275 F and line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. (Is there such a thing as sticky baking paper?)
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks. Y'know, so you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites go nowhere?
Gradually whisk sugar into egg white to make a stiff, glossy meringue. As per my mum's instructions, I beat the eggs and sugar together for 8 minutes, which gives it a really beautiful sheen and thick texture. It's mummy's tip!
Fold in vinegar and vanilla. Start drooling.
Plop the meringue mixture onto your baking tray (which I assume you've lined with the baking paper already). Usually making a circle shape is optimal, the recommendation is to swirl it at the top, but I kept mine a little more on the flat side, as I find it easier to put fruit on later. Although it did end up a bit thin, so maybe it is worth plumping up initially...
Bake for 1 and a quarter hours, or at least until the meringue is crisp and lightly golden on the outside. Switch off the oven at this point and let your meringue rest in the oven for 1-2 hours to cool. I left mine in overnight. Oopsies.
Whip up the cream in a bowl, until it also forms soft peaks. I found I really had to leave the cream for a good 5 minutes in the kitchenaid at least until it started to firm up. Was getting worried the first minute or two that I checked it…
Fold in the sour cream with the whipped cream. Sample for taste. Sample again.
Spread the cream mix lovingly over the pavlova.
Decorate liberally with blueberries, mango and mint leaves.
Have with a cup of peppermint tea.
Did you put up a pavlova recipe for the blog hop? Be sure to visit Delicieux's post to include your pavlova, or just visit to see other delicious pavlova options...!