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Monday, March 15, 2010

Strawberry Pavlova

I’ve got 30 egg whites left from making a Prunes Layer Cake. And I remembered Nigella making this wonderful crusty dessert called Pavlova. Did some googling and saw that most recipes call for every 2 egg whites, half a cup of sugar be used. Nigella’s recipe seems so huge to me, and this being my virgin Pavlova, I don’t want to risk making a huge one. I followed Joy of Baking’s recipe, with Nigella’s method.

I thought it would be difficult, but hey no.. It’s pretty easy. I succeeded at first attempt. As long as u cool it properly in the oven, do not rush.. rushing is no good to a pavlova… Patience, wait, and you’ll be fine. It will not look perfectly smooth, but with cracks here and there and that does not mean u’ve failed. U failed when u can’t cut the pavlova. Cos the interior isn’t cooked properly. If u can cut, u’ve done it!!

I made a mistake here that I will never do again.. I made a 1 inch tall rim on my raw meringue. Some recipes say to do that rim thing, so that it will hold the cream and fruit. But when my meringue is done, the 1/2 inch wall became 1and 1/2 inches. That’s why u don’t see a mountain of strawberries. My cream and berries weren’t enough to fill up the big crater. Better leave the surface flat so that it’ll form a shallower crater when baked and cooled.

So, what does this taste like??? Sweet!!! Utterly sweet. But, nice.
It has a crunchy crust that melts in ur mouth.
A soft marshmellowy interior that isn’t sticky or gummy. Count to 3, it’s gone.
Accompanied by creamy cream and contrasted by tart strawberries…

It’s really good. Provided each bite of the pavlova be accompanied by some strawberries to offset the sweetness.
Do not try to reduce the sugar, the meringue might not hold. Just add more tart/ tangy/sour fruits to the top and it’ll be fine.

Strawberry Pavlova Recipe
4 egg whites (120gm)
200gm castor sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
1tsp vanilla

*If using non convection oven, pls raise the temperature by another 20C
1. Preheat oven at 180C. Draw an 7 inch circle (use a baking pan or plate/dish) with a pencil on the wrong side of a non stick baking paper. Place drawn side down on a large baking tray.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in sugar by the tablespoons until meringue is stiff. Put in cornstarch and beat for a while (10 seconds, Don’t worry, it won’t deflate). Fold in vinegar and vanilla. (Make sure all the sugar is dissolved )
3. Mound meringue onto drawn circle, smoothing the sides and top.
4. Put into preheated oven and close the door. Immediately turn down the temperature to 130C and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
5. When the meringue base is ready, it will look pale and may have some cracks. Leave meringue in oven with door slightly ajar to totally cool down. If u feel that even the baking tray is cool, then it’s really cool.

200ml whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
200gm strawberries or more (hulled and cut into chunks)
(I stabilized my cream by adding in gelatin solution -1/2 tsp melted in 1 Tbsp water)

1. Beat whipping cream until almost stiff and put in sugar. Beat until stiff. Beat in gelatin mixture (if using).
2. Spoon cream onto cooled meringue and top with strawberries.
3. Serve immediately.

*If u want to make the meringue in advance, after baked and cooled, keep in air tight container for up to a week or two. Do not put topping on base if not served within an hour or 2.


  1. I always want to make one Pavlova.....maybe it's about time.
    Yours look absolutely gorgeous!

  2. the amount of sugar added in this is similar to macarons, super sweet..anyway, it look beautiful with all strawberries on top.

  3. Wow, very beautiful! This New Zealand/Australian dessert - they are still arguing where this orginates from- is so lovely to look at but I will never make it. Too sweet.

  4. Oh lovely! My son lovesit very much! I normally make the mini size for him.

  5. Sonia,
    Oh... I didn't know macarons are that sweet too.
    I don't know when will I ever do that too.

  6. Shirley,
    Haha, yeah. Where ever this thing came from, it's a damn good dessert, for me to indulge once a while, cos it's really sweet.

  7. My little space,
    Mini ones are actually a better choice. Shorter baking time and less risk of getting undercooked.
    I made a big one this time just for the sake of trying out

  8. I've bookmarked so many pavlovas ages ago and never made them. Never knew what to do with the rest of the yolks! this looks absolutely elegant!

  9. Tracie,
    There are only 4 yolks left from the 4 eggs.
    4 yolks are pretty easy to settle. Maybe next time when u make cookies that call for only yolks, u cna save up the whites to make this.

  10. I cannot promise to make this one… cause I still haven’t try out a lot of recipe you did. Heheehe : P. I just find a excuse that I am so busy hehehe or I now outstation :P

  11. hi wendy, i'm not sure if you are able to help me make it and i can buy it from you for the pavola.. as i just came across your website finding out where am i able to purchase pavola in singapore.. so do let me know.. thank you so much!

  12. Lee,
    Sorry I won't be able to fulfil your request.
    1. You live in Singapore and I live 500km away from you in Malaysia
    2. Pavlovas will not endure the journey from here to Singapore, even if you were to collect it yourself. It is best consumed immediately after frosting. The cream will weep and spoil, the meringue will sweat and soften, the fruits will spoil.

    Sorry, but you'd have to find someone else.

  13. hello windy! the pavlova u made look so tempting! i wanna ask how im gonna keep the pavlova fresh for the 1 hour journey?

  14. Anonymous,
    Don't fill it first. Bring your cream and cut up fruits in separate containers. Pile on the cream and fruits only when you arrive just before serving

  15. I made 3 individual pieces n store in airtight. The next day when assemble time, I found that the surface of the pavlova is a bit sticky to touch. What went wrong?

  16. esther,
    Humidity. All meringue based desserts hates moist air.

  17. hi wendy! i got several q's regarding pavlova to you, i hope u'll able to answer it. :)
    1. i tried making the pavlova using ur recipe, but i wonder if it's "normal" to have some part (top) bit burnt (i bet it was the sugar...but i don't know, i'm a noob...hoho).
    2. the completely cooked pavlova won't have any "liquidy" part won't it?
    3. during baking the pavlova, i opened the oven for a bit, i wonder if the opening of this oven affects the pavlova.

    hehe, thanks in advance fo answering my q. :)

    psst...i love ur blog!

  18. axvist,
    1. There shouldn't be any burnt parts as the temperature itself is not hot enough to do that
    2. No liquidy part at all
    3. Please do not do that again. It can cause your pavlova to crack and collaspe

  19. Hi Wendy. Do you know muffin size pavlova need to bake for how long?

  20. Nicole Wong,
    No idea, you can try 30 minutes.

  21. OK tq Wendy. Will try making the small size 1st.

  22. Wendy you ruin my diet :).. Another recipe to try..AnYway hope you can do the SANSRIVAL recipe It's also good.I don't know how to make it though but you can see a lot of recipe online.I trust you can make it good then I will try to bake them. Hehehehe

  23. Great asian food blog! And I love that you're keen to try dishes outside your comfort zone. I just wanted to add that if you try pavlovas again, you can use different fruits if strawberries are pricey in SE Asia such as mangoes and bananas. In fact, it's nice to have 2-3 fruits for a nice color and taste variant. I should add that having some passion fruit pulp on top as well is almost mandatory because the sourness cuts through the sweetness of the meringue. Enjoy!

  24. Anonymous(2.26pm)
    I have been wanting to do Sans Rival for the longest of time, but there's no many things I am wanting to bake....

    Anonymous (5.05pm),
    The cost of strawberries are ok for me.
    I won't use mango or bananas though, too sweet.

  25. Hai Wendy,
    Very nice blog. Just follow in quiet. Well done. Keep blogging ya.

  26. i share your recipe at my fb. tq.

  27. Hi Wendy! For the topping (whipping cream), you use Non Dairy or Dairy? Thank you! :)

  28. Laila,
    It's Dairy whipping cream. Usually I will state it clearly if I'm using non dairy, as Non Dairy Topping Cream, but I rarely use it since 2009.

  29. Hi wendy! Can you share what brand did you use for whipping cream? I wanna make it for my mom. She really like it, your pavlova looks yummy! Hope you can share.

  30. Hi Aida,
    Usually I use Anchor, as it's affordable and whips up easier than other brand like Emborg.


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