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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cherry pavlova mess

Pavlova. Cream. Cherries. Mess. Heaven.

Six years in Sydney and playing around in the kitchen, cooking and baking and creating all kinds of culinary mess and never ever did this classic Australian dessert icon make its way from our oven to our table.  More of from Woolies shelves to our table. Convenience, right?   Yeah, but not quite.  A Filipino learning to be Australian should have tagged this as priority in her kitchen cooking projects.  It's one of those dishes/recipes tucked away somewhere with hope of some day giving it time and effort and love.  Some kind of unfinished business in the kitchen similar to Irvin's list from eatthelove.  I've separated yolks from whites many many many many times, but never got around to making pavlova!  But after meeting  and connecting with some of the amazing food bloggers now hosting a Pavlova Blog Hop - 84th and 3rd, The Hungry Australian, Delicieux, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and Dining with a Stud,  there's no more excuse not to try and make the classic Pavlova at home. 

Making Pavlova is not really difficult these days, thanks to the technology of hand-held beaters and stand mixers.  Beating egg-whites to the stiffest stage possible is easiest now with modern equipments as opposed to how it would have been back in 1935 when the supposed Hotel Esplanade chef Bert Sachse made this dish for the visiting Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (Whether or not it was Sachse in Australia or a NZ chef who made the first pavlova is still debatable at this point, but that's a matter we can leave for the historians!)  Back to this classic Australian dessert....

This Pavlova recipe is adapted from the joy of baking

4 egg whites (used free-range XL eggs)
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tbsp corn flour

Pre heat the oven to 130* C.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper (you can also trace a 20cm cake tin on the parchment paper as guide to a perfect circle)

In a large bowl with a hand-held beater (or the bowl of the stand mixer), beat the egg whites until foamy or frothy

Foamy, frothy egg whites

Add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at at time and continue beating/whipping until the meringue (sugar and egg whites mixture) can form stiff peaks, and looks shiny. 

Stiff peaks

Stiff peaks!  Meringue! Love!

Add the vanilla extract and continue beating.
Tip the white vinegar over the meringue and sprinkle the corn flour, then using a spatula gently fold the meringue until the mixture comes together.

Spoon the meringue into the baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

 Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the pavlova has a pale cream colour.

Turn off heat and leave the oven door oven for another hour to let the pavlova rest and cool completely.


Off-white!  -  Such a drama queen! Our Pavlova!

The trickiest part in making this dessert, like making meringue is the absolute perfection in technique, heat and timing.    But no matter how it turns out - pristine white and uncracked, or whimsically dramatic with a darker tinge and full of cracks,  top it with some cream and fruit or make a mess out of it... heaven!   

Pavlova mess with cream and nectarine poached in cherry syrup

 Pavlova topping 1:
1 cup thickened cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 cup fresh cherries - pitted

Pavlova topping 2:
1 cup thickened cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 nectarines, pitted and diced
1 tsp strawberry jam mixed with some sour cherry syrup

Whip the cream and sugar together until stiff and thick.
Spread on top of the pavlova and top with the fruits.

What's the greatest reward in making a pavlova?  The choice of topping is endless!  And you'll be rewarded with heaps of love and kisses, enough warmth to melt your heart but hopefully not your pavlova!

Thanks again to the ladies behind the first Australian Pavlova Blog Hop - without your endless reminders in twitter, this Filipina learning to be Australian would never have had the opportunity to create a big sweet mess in our little kitchen.  Sometimes, all we really need a little nudge and inspiration - to say "today is the day I did something for the first time".  One tick off my own kitchen's unfinished business!  And actually opened a lot more messes to create in our kitchen such as coffee meringue, which shall be for a future post.

Australian Pavlova Bloghop - Check out other Pavlova recipes below.  Clicking on an image will open the link with a new window.


  1. Pavlova is a perfect match with cherries, I can't imagine why so many people want to ruin it with passionfruit! Hahaha..

  2. I love that you went down the pavlova and cherry path too!!! So far we have 3 cherry pavlovas, not surprising though when cherries are so amazing at the moment.

    Thank you for participating in the blog hop!!

  3. Fantastic post and great photos of the cooking process!

    I love nectarines on pavlovas and your syrupy topping looks just gorgeous! Your pavlova is such a beautiful colour, too.

    So happy that you joined us for the Blog Hop!

  4. Thanks so much for participating :) Great job!!

  5. Nice pavlova Bambi. I don't make them often, but when I do I can never get them white. I always end up with the tanned look.

  6. Well done on your first efforts at an Aussie classic - and cherries and pav are such a great fit, too!

  7. Mmmmm, I love the whole meringue/mess thing. So delicious. Well done. What fun finding all these lovely new blogger friends!

  8. Yum, eaton mess! I'm a huge fan, looks delish. I probably would have taken it out of oven earlier though.

  9. Yay Bambi! Great first pav! You'll get your own back when you see my post in a few weeks of my first try at Lumpia Sariwa - which I made last night :-)

  10. Dear Anna,

    The cherry pavlova looks messily delicious! Always great to breakaway from traditional moulds in cooking while still getting the message across> Well done!

  11. Love messy desserts. The pav looks really good and delicious.

  12. Glad the hop inspired you to cook up a pav - the crunchy bits are my favourite part so the 'mess' looks perfect!

  13. I so wanna try this one out soon!

  14. This looks great! And I love your different topping options.

  15. At what temperature did you have the oven on?


  16. @Alessandra Hi Alessandra! Good question! I forgot to include in the post. It was 140*C.



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