Writing about this now is killing me, as I’m on a bit of a diet. I had a temporary flatmate for the summer, from the States, so naturally this involved a cultural exchange of desserts. She made an amazing apple pie and I introduced her to pavlova.
Much debate exists over whether pavlova is a New Zealand or Australian dish, I don’t really care, but it looks like it was possibly first made in New Zealand but first called pavlova in Australia. So we can both claim it.
The traditional New Zealand topping is kiwifruit and sometimes shaved chocolate. Often strawberries are used instead of kiwifruit. I don’t like kiwifruit very much and although strawberries are nice, sometimes I like to do passionfruit instead:
These days I actually use Delia’s recipe, which is probably quite unpatriotic of me but I like that it only has two ingredients – I’m used to adding white vinegar or cream of tartar or whatever but Delia’s recipe works really well if you follow the instructions to whisk the egg whites until they stick to the bottom of the bowl. In fact, the pavlova in the picture above didn’t even crack – that’s the gold standard everyone aims for, even though it doesn’t matter because you’re going to cover it in cream anyway. Yum.
Incidentally, I recently went to Bill’s cafe in Reading and ordered the pavlova there, which came with cream and strawberries. Bill’s was lovely, but the pavlova was NOT pavlova. It was a rock hard meringue. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Have you made pavlova? If so, what are your favourite toppings?