Happy Ramblings: The making of a real New Zealand Pavlova

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The making of a real New Zealand Pavlova

Real New Zealand pavlova with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cream

Yesterday morning was rather eventful. It resulted in lots of laughter while making a Pavlova to take to my sister's as my contribution for lunch.

I got up bright and early so that I could make the Pavlova and give it plenty of time to cool for lunch time. All the ingredients were gathered up. Eggs out of the fridge early to get to room temperature. Oven on. Baking tray papered, oiled and sugared. Camera at the ready so that I could show you what a perfect New Zealand Pavlova is like.

Everything was going perfectly. The egg whites whisked up beautifully to stiff peaks and I spread the Pavlova mixture out on my prepared tray as I had done many times before when making this recipe.

The steps in making a New Zealand pavlova

Then I had time to have a relaxing soak in the bath before getting ready to go out. Mum was given instructions on turning the oven off after half an hour. I set the oven timer and I set the little portable timer for 30 minutes so that mum could keep it with her in case she didn't hear the one in the kitchen.

I was enjoying my bath when, after half an hour, I heard mum frantically calling me. I ran into the kitchen and there was smoke billowing out of the oven. There was so much smoke that it was hanging 4 foot thick from the ceiling! Mum asked if it was supposed to smoke lol. We opened the oven door to find this: (scroll down slowly to keep the suspense going)...

A huge mutant Pavlova taking up the whole shelf of the oven...eeeks!

My Pavlova disaster

 It looked like if was quite able to escape from the oven all by itself. And it had the consistency of a very tough omelette. My eyes popped out of my head. I scratched my head. I shook my head in disbelief. What had gone wrong???

Mum looked at the oven temperature and it was still set at 230 C. I had forgotten to turn it down to 120 C immediately after putting the Pavlova into the oven! Oooops. I burst out laughing (or was it hysterics?).

By this time it was 12.00 pm. We were due at my sisters for 1.00 pm for my 3 year old nephews Birthday party. Don't panic, don't panic, breath....slooooooooowly....think, think. I had enough ingredients to make another Pavlova. 15 minutes for me to prepare it, including mum on tray preparation duty and dad scrubbing the oven and shelf clean. One hour in the oven and a little time so that the Pavlova would be cool enough to take in the car to my sister's undecorated. We could do it.

Time to try again.

I phoned my sister and told her what had happened and that we would be half an hour late. After popping the new Pavlova in the oven I hopped back in the bath. Time to relax. This time everything went well. The Pavlova came out of the oven looking as it should. Phew!

Pavlova just out of the oven

I waited until we had finished our main course before whipping up the cream and spreading it on the Pavlova. Then I topped it up with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries ready to put on the pavlova

The Pavlova was enjoyed by all and I had a fun afternoon playing with my nephew :)

Now...the question is...what am I to do with 16 egg yolks? Does anybody have any ideas?

Here is the recipe for my Pavlova:

N.B. I double this recipe when I make this Pavlova and bake it on a 13 inch diameter baking tray. When doubling the recipe, don't double the vinegar quantity and only use 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla essence.

Pavlova Ingredients:

4 egg whites (room temperature)
2 cups caster sugar
1 dessertspoon cornflour
1 dessertspoon white vinegar (only use white)
4 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract (do not use artificial flavouring)

Topping Ingredients:

Fresh cream
Fresh fruit, such as: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sliced kiwifruit, pawpaw, mangoes.
(Sliced bottled peaches are also nice on Pavlova)


Turn oven on to 230 C.

Prepare a round baking tray by oiling it then covering with baking paper. Oil the baking paper and dust it with caster sugar. Shake off the excess caster sugar.

Put all the Pavlova ingredients, except boiling water, in the electric mixer. Start the mixer going on slow then add the boiling water. (If you add the boiling water before the mixer is going it will cook the egg whites). Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until very stiff.

Put mixture onto the baking tray and spread it into a thick circle. The Pavlova will spread a bit while baking, so don't spread the mixture right to the edge of the tray. Make the top of the Pavlova flat.

Put the Pavlova into the 230 C oven, in the middle, and turn the temperature down to 120 C immediately! Leave for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave in the oven for another 30 minutes.

Cool the Pavlova, on the baking tray, completely. Don't worry if you see cracks forming while the Pavlova is cooling. This is normal. The cream will cover most of the cracks.

Just before serving cover the top with a thick layer of thickly whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Keep any left over Pavlova, if there is any! in the fridge. You can still eat it the next day, although it will be a bit soft.

Enjoy xxx

1 comment:

  1. This method worked the best for me. I had a Pavlova at a Kiwi Cafe in Arlington VA. I have tried several recipes and this was by far the easiest. Thanks!