Interesting information on Pavlova
There is much debate around the origin of Pavlova, for years Australia and New Zealand have been squabbling about who invented the Pavlova and to further confuse all of us recent studies indicate that the true Pavlova originated in Germany and America.
This is the story I prefer;
Russian ballerina, Ana Pavlova was the inspiration behind this light and airy cream and fruit dessert. The Chef of the Wellington hotel in New Zealand was so inspired by the Russian ballerina during her visit to New Zealand in 1926 that he created a dessert in her honour inspired by her tutu.
The difference between pavlova and meringue
Meringue is simpler to make than Pavlova; it only requires three ingredients, egg white, sugar and flavouring. A meringue is then made by whipping egg white to stiff peaks whereafter sugar is slosly added to create stiff, glossy peaks that hold shape. Meringue is then dried out at a low temperature for an extended period of time to create a sweet treat that is light, crispy and dry throughout that will melt away in your mouth.
Pavlova is a meringue based dessert however the key difference between the two are the ingredients. A Pavlova is mad from egg white and sugar, that you whisk to create a meringue, with added vinegar and cornflour. These ingredients help create the soft and chewy interior of a Pavlova. Pavlova is baked at a higher temperature than meringue to create a crisp outer shell and a soft interior.
6 egg whites
2 cups castor sugar
1 tbsp Cornflour
2 tsp white vinegar
Pinch of salt
5 ml Vanilla essence
1 batch Tonka mousse
Fresh fruit of your choice
30 cm Cake tin (spring form)
Measuring cups and spoons
Preheat the oven to 150 °C
Cut parchment paper the size of your cake pan; spray the tin and line with the cut parchment.
Place the egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until firm. Add the salt. With the mixer on high speed slowly add the sugar, tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. At this point the egg whites should have firm, shiny peaks.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornflour onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a spatula.
Scoop out the meringue into the lined cake tin; smooth it out to build up the edges and and make a hollow centre.
Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C and bake your meringue for 1hour 20min. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool completely inside the oven.
Take the meringue shell out of the tin and fill with your Tonka mousse and garnish with fresh fruit of your choice.
I always prefer using fresh berries and rose petals.