If you are going for sheer wow factor in a dessert, then a pavlova is a good choice. Pavolvas only contain a handful of ingredients, and yet can produce stunning desserts for any occasion. Here are some simple tips to help you bake beautiful and delicious pavlovas.
It only takes a handful of ingredients to make a pavlova. The meringue base is made primarily from egg whites and sugar. Because there are so few ingredients, it is crucial that you use quality ingredients. When making a pavlova, it really is worth it to buy the best quality eggs that you can. I recommend using free-range, organic eggs in order to produce the best pavlova base.
Using the right tools will make it much easier to make a good pavlova. For a good pavlova, the eggs need to be well whipped. Not many people have enough arm strength or patience to whip the meringue base until it is stiff and glossy. If you don’t whip it long enough, the texture won’t be right. I recommend using an electric mixer, preferably one on a stand. My KitchenAid makes it a million times easier to make a pavlova than a hand whisk.
Once you have baked your pavlova, you still have the critical step of removing the pavlova from the baking sheet. This is a delicate moment and can end with crumbled pieces of meringue rather than a beautiful pavlova. To reduce stress, don’t bake directly on the baking sheet. Instead, try using baking parchment. If you use baking parchment, it will peel easily off of the meringue and lift easily from the baking tray. I didn’t realize how much easier this made things until I ran out of baking parchment and tried making a pavlova without it.
Anyone can glop down a mixture on a tray. It is impressive when you make a dessert as beautiful as it is delicious. Luckily, it is easy to make pavlovas decorative. Instead of making one big pavlova, consider baking several smaller ones and layering them. Stacked with layers of cream and fruit or chocolate, your pavlova will make a mouth-watering addition to any occasion. Another possibility is to pipe the pavlova. If you have an icing bag, you can use that. Otherwise, use a ziplock baggy with a corner cut out. This will allow you to put little peaks and designs into the pavlova (they will stay as they bake). If you do this, remember to be gentle with the mixture, as you don’t want to squeeze out the air.
Pavlovas look impressive, and with these few tricks and tips your pavlova is sure to turn out beautifully.