G’day, mates! I’ve decently discovered that I have an enormous amount of traffic from Australia, and I’m… confused. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled! But I can’t figure out why that would be. Does “stress baking” mean something special down under? Am I some sort of Aussie celebrity and I just don’t know about it?
Regardless of the reason behind it, I’m happy to have you all here! And for that reason, I wanted to make something inspired by an Australian dish: Pavlova.
I’d seen them before in pictures, but didn’t know much about them. I did a little research about the namesake, the country of origin (as I understand it, it’s a battle of he said/she said between Australia and New Zealand), and how it’s normally prepared. I’ve made plenty of meringues before, so I knew I could handle it since I basically needed to make a REALLY big meringue.
I’m told a traditional way of serving pavlova is with whipped cream and fruit, so that’s exactly what I did! I may have gotten a little carried away with the amount of whipped cream, but you all know how I feel about my mascarpone whipped cream. There can never be enough.
I also used a combination of fresh fruit, sugared cranberries and mint leaves to infuse it with a little Christmas cheer.
IT’S SO PRETTY.
I love it. I really do. It’s light and fluffy, with just enough of a crispness on the outside of the pavlova to prevent it from feeling like a pile of mush. I like to make mine with a drop of vanilla extract, and I purposely keep it in the oven a little bit longer than most people to give the outside a little bit of color – I know that’s not how you’re supposed to do it, but I’m a rebel. I don’t play by anyone’s rule but my own.
So tell me, Aussies: how do you make your pavlova? I want to make it again, and I want some new ideas! 🙂 Tag your photos on Instagram with #stressbaking and follow me so I can see them!
- 6 egg whites
- 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups sugar
- Preheat oven to 275° F.
- Tear off a sheet of parchment paper to a size that will fill a baking sheet. Take a small bowl or plate, flip it over, and trace it on left side of the parchment paper with a pen or pencil. Do the same on the right side. Flip the sheet over and line a baking sheet with the parchment paper - you want to be able to see the tracing through the paper. Set aside.
- In a large stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they're frothy and turn white.
- Add cream of tarter and salt and beat to combine.
- Add sugar, a little at a time, until combined. Beat on high speed until it forms stiff peaks.
- Using a piping bag with a large opening (or just a spoon/spatula if you're comfortable), pipe egg white mixture onto each circle evenly. Think of it as topping a really large cupcake! Depending on the size of each of your circles, you may have leftover mixture - you can use that to make some smaller pavlovas on a separate baking sheet (bake them at a separate time).
- On a low rack in the oven, bake for an hour. Turn off the heat, crack open then oven door, and let the pavlova cool slowly (leaving it in the oven). Once cooled, remove
- Place them in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 mins then turn off the heat and let the pavlova cool in the oven slowly. Set aside.
- If your pavlova rounds are larger than 10", make a double batch of my mascarpone whipped cream (or if you just really, really love whipped cream like I do).
- Carefully remove pavlova from parchment paper and place one of the rounds on a serving platter/cake stand. Top with whipped cream, then add the second round. Top with whipped cream, fresh fruit and/or sugared cranberries. Serve and enjoy!