This weekend I decided to try my hand at making a pavlova. I grew up with pavlova as a christmas staple like many other kiwi and aussie kids. My Aunty would always make one for our family xmas, and it would always look amazing. Even though pavs look good, I was never the biggest fan growing up as didn’t like cream but now that i’m grown up and my tastebuds have changed for the better I decided to give it a try.
I wanted to go for something a bit less traditional so I went with this recipe from Nigella Lawson. The method is very similar to a regular pavlova, but with the addition of finely chopped chocolate and cocoa powder into the egg white/sugar mixture.
Tips for making Pav:
- Make sure everything is ready before you start beating the egg whites as once you start the process you shouldn’t stop until it is ready to be turned out onto the baking tray.
- Clean the bowl you are going to be using thoroughly and dry it thoroughly before use.
- Pre heat your own to 180 C before you start and line your baking tray ready to go. Once the pav goes in turn the temp down to 150 C immediately.
- Don’t overbet the egg whites. Only beat them til stiff peaks form, then start adding the sugar. If they start to separate it is overbeaten and you will need to start from the beginning with fresh egg whites.
- Add the sugar to the beaten egg whites 1 spoon at a time and don’t stop beating when you add them. The sugar needs to dissolve into the egg whites so before you add the cocoa and chocolate feel a small amount of the mixture between your finger tips. It shouldn’t be grainy. Only beat until the sugar dissolves, any more and you will run the risk of having a super collapsed pav. Also, if you don’t dissolve the sugar properly, you will get a “weeping” effect, which is the sugar coming out of the pav during cooking.
- When you fold the chocolate and cocoa in, do it as gently as possible and til it is just combined. Do not overmix.
- When you pour the mixture onto the baking tray gently shape it with a spatula.
- Once the Pav has finishing cooking, leave it in the oven to cool as the oven cools. Some people leave the door open a bit, some don’t. I left the oven door open a little once the oven had mostly cooled. I left mine in there all night and most of the next day! This insures a crispy outside and gooey middle. It sunk a bit but with chocolate pavs you can expect that. The cream and strawberries (or whatever you want) hide the worst of the cracks!
Thanks to Dad for helping me via text message :) and for the lovely strawberries from his garden.