4 Toppings for Christmas Pavlovas (spoiler: they’re all delicious)November 16, 2017
We’re kicking off this Christmas season with our favourite treat: pavlovas! With these four toppings for Christmas Pavlova, you may find yourself whipping up more than one before the big day…
There are a few tricks to whipping up a truly delicious pavlova, but once you’ve mastered the technique, it really is one of the most simple yet impressive desserts you can make. The natural enemies of a good pav are fat and moisture in the form of the water, so it’s imperative that you start whisking your egg whites with a clean, dry bowl and whisk. Running half a lemon around the surface of the bowl before you add the whites can also help stabilise the mixture.
Secondly, you’ll need to make sure your egg whites are at room temperature to give them the best chance of whipping up into hard peaks. If you can, leave your eggs out for a few hours before you start the recipe. Otherwise, separate the egg whites and then finish the rest of your recipe preparation before starting.
Finally, patience is key! An electric beater is a very useful bit of kit to have for meringues and pavlovas (and seeing you can pick one up for around 15 bucks, worth the investment), and especially helpful with this recipe, where you may need to beat the egg whites for upwards of 5 minutes. Up to 8 minutes beating time is well within the realm of normal, so don’t panic if your mixture doesn’t come together as quickly as you’re expecting it to (especially if it’s a humid day). You’ll know the meringue is ready when it clings to the whisk in a peak without falling when lifted out of the bowl, or stays in the bowl when you (gingerly) lift it over your head. Likewise, you’ll need to cook the pavlova low and slow, so plan another activity and give it the time it needs to crisp up perfectly.
• 6 egg whites, at room temperature
• 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
• 3 teaspoons cornflour
• 2 teaspoons white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavouring
• 375ml (1 1/2 cups) thickened cream
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Draw a 20cm disc on the paper and turn the paper ink-side down.
- Use an electric beater (or a hand whisk and a lot of elbow grease!) to beat the egg white in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy and at hard peak stage. Beat in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence. Tip: If you’d like to add a different flavour to your pavlova, simply combine a teaspoon of the essence or extract (rose water and orange blossom water are great additions) to 1 teaspoon of the cornflour, then fold through.
- Spoon the meringue mixture onto the disc and use a flat-bladed knife to shape the meringue and make furrows. Bake in oven for 10 minutes to firm up.
- Reduce oven temperature to 110°C. Bake for a further 1 hour or until the meringue is crisp and dry (you can check 30 minutes in and reduce the heat further to 90°C if the pav is getting too much colour). Turn oven off. Leave meringue in oven, with the door closed, to cool completely.
- Use a balloon whisk to whisk the cream in a bowl until loose but firm peaks form. Spread the cream over the top of the pavlova.
1 mango, skin removed and flesh thinly sliced
1/4 pineapple, thinly sliced
70g Passionfruit Pulp
1 tablespoon baby mint leaves
To serve: Top pavlova with fruit and mint.
300g Turkish delight, chopped
1/2 cup pistachio kernels, chopped
1/4 cup dried rose petals
2 tbs pomegranate seeds
To serve: Sprinkle pavlova with Turkish delight, pistachios, rose petals and pomegranate seeds. You can even add a spritz of rose water in place of vanilla into your pavlova mixture to really make this recipe sing. Combine it with the cornflour and add at the end of the whipping process.
250g strawberries, hulled, sliced
2 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced
To serve: Top cream with fruit.
Cherry & Chocolate
1/2 cup grated dark chocolate
1/2 cup cocount flakes
* To Make Cherry Syrup
- 500g plump cherries
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- ¼ cup water
To make Cherry Syrup
- Halve and pit 300g cherries. Refrigerate remaining cherries until ready to serve.
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Add halved cherries and return to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Place into an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.
To serve: Top with reserved cherries. Drizzle with the cooled cherry syrup, sprinkle with chocolate and coconut flakes and serve immediately.