First created to capture the light and airy leaps of Anna Pavlova, this dessert is reminiscent of a marshmallow and a macaron. Because of its fame, New Zealand and Australia have had a long dispute over this dessert's claim to originality, but in our household, it is indisputably the best AND healthiest dessert we know how to make. And my family has a huge sweet tooth. Many of our friends have praised this dessert, one even eating the rest of it for breakfast the next morning. A past neighbor of my mother's shared this with my mother when the neighbor needed a KitchenAid mixer. Over the past few years, my mother has successfully perfected this recipe, using an amalgamation of her neighbor's recipe and JoyofBaking.com's recipe (http://www.joyofbaking.com/Pavlova.html). —Graydon Tope
pure vanilla extract
heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons
pure vanilla extract
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the middle. Place parchment paper over a baking sheet.
In the bowl of the electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Do not use egg whites in a carton or else stiff peaks will not form. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until the peaks form. Do not over beat the egg whites.
Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, gradually increasing the speed of the mixer until thick and glossy. When tested, the mixture should be smooth with no grittiness from the sugar.
Fold in the vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.
Spread mixture onto parchment paper/baking sheet with spatula. Shape into a circle with a dimple in the middle.
Bake on the middle rack for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and a pale cream color.
This next step is CRUCIAL. DO NOT take the pavlova out of the oven immediately following the timer. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly ajar while the pavlova cools.
Once it has set (approximately 30 minutes), take out the pavlova and use dental floss to detach the delicate structure from the parchment paper and transfer to a plate using multiple spatulas.
Whip the whipping cream in the electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Sweeten with the sugar and vanilla extract.
Once the pavlova is cooled, mound the whipping cream into the dimple of the pavlova.
Optional but highly recommended: Serve with blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries on top.