Traditional Kiwi pavlova
Pavlova is the ultimate Kiwi classic. It is synonymous with the Saturday barbie, covered in kiwifruit and usually over-whipped cream, plonked surreptitiously on the bench until mass amounts of beer and sausage have been consumed and the greedy hoards come looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.
There is great debate over whether or not the pav originated in little ol’ NZ or over the ditch in Oz. One theory I heard from a chef in Milford was that they found some very old recipe books that debunked any possibilities of our Australian counterparts having any contribution to its conception. He particularly liked to regale punters with this story on overnight cruises before he served up healthy servings of the dessert.
Because we are in the middle of winter I chose to garnish my pav with frozen berries, but if you are in the height of summer go for fresh ones, as frozen ones can be a little tough and a little less flavoursome. I rolled mine in sugar to add to their appeal and then slathered the whole thing in cream. Can I get a yum?
3 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C on bake, if you would like to use a fan function for that extra crispy coating use a lower temperature like 125ۦC*.
2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
3. Beat the egg whites on a high setting until stiff peaks form. To make you sure your egg whites whisk up nicely ensure there is no egg yolk in them and that all the utensils and bowl have been rinsed in scalding hot water to remove any grease.
4. Add sugar gradually whilst still beating on a high setting, usually a tablespoon at a time is the norm or if you have steady hands pour in a slow steady stream, making sure at each addition it is beaten thoroughly.
5. Once all the sugar is added beat for a further 10 minutes. This is important as it helps the mix to stiffen a little more, which will mean it will keep its shape when it’s baked.
6. Mix together the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla essence, decrease the mixer setting to med-low and add in the cornflour mix. Once just mixed in, turn off mixer.
7. Cut a ~40cm length of baking paper and fold along its length. Curl on tray to make a cuff with a diameter of ~17cm, either tape or pin it to keep its shape.
8. Spoon meringue mix into cuff and smooth out surface. Place into the middle of the oven, if on bake turn the oven down to 125°C and bake for one hour. After an hour turn the oven off and let the pav cool in the oven. For fan functions do everything the same just turn the oven a little lower, maybe 115°C.
9. Hull and wash some berries, whip some cream and serve! You can also opt for the sliced kiwifruit.
Tips and tricks
* Using a fan function forces convection currents and dries out humidity that the more gentle bake function has, which is why you’re likely to get more of a crust on the pavlova using a fan function. Because of the forced convection, fan functions transfer heat and energy quicker than bake, thus the golden rule of baking is to decrease the baking temperature by roughly 20°C when using them.