Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. It was created in honor of and named after a ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova, during one of her tours. As to what country it originated from, Australia or New Zealand, it is such an important part of the national cuisine of both countries that it has created an ongoing “dessert war” between two nations. It is traditionally served in festive celebrations and Holidays in both countries.
Pavlova has a crisp and crunchy outer shell and a soft marshmallow-like center unlike a meringue which can be crisp, light and airy throughout. This major is due to the addition of corn flour in Pavlova.
Traditionally decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruits with sharpness to counteract the sweetness, pavlova is topped with berries, kiwi, passion fruit or mangoes. Most common modern variation is Chocolate Pavlova which may be topped with fruits and whipped cream too, some are made into Black Forest variants with cherry liqueur; flavored with Dark Rum and made into Brown Sugar Pavlova and some topped with mascarpone cheese.
Another take on pavlova is to preserve and accentuate its delicate and light nature. This is where the idea of Rosewater Pavlova came from. The flavor, aroma and color from roses compliment the airy and cloudy base and the raspberries and candied petals provides just the right mishmash.
ROSEWATER PAVLOVA with CANDIED PETALS
For the Pavlova
- 4 egg whites
- 285g caster sugar (app. 1 1/3 cup)
- 2 tsp corn flour, sifted
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp rosewater
For the Candied Petals
- 1 pink rose, petals separated, washed, dried
- 1 egg white, extra, lightly whisked
- 1/3 cup (70g) caster sugar, extra, to sprinkle
For the toppings:
- 3/4 cup (185ml) thickened cream
- 2 tsp icing sugar mixture
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
To make the Pavlova:
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Place egg whites in a dry bowl and whisk using an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Add the sugar gradually and whisking constantly until mixture is thick and glossy.
- Fold in the corn flour, vinegar and rosewater gently. Do not over mix.
- Shape meringue mix into a 7 inch round on baking tray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, just until the Pavlovas are dry to touch. Turn the oven off, leave the door open and the pavlovas inside. This will allow the pavlovas enough time to adapt to room temperature slowly and preserve their consistency.
To make the candied petals:
Lay rose petals on a tray lined with baking paper and lightly brush with egg white. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Set aside to dry.
To make the cream topping:
Place cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
Top pavlova with cream, raspberries and rose petals.