Pavlova is a easy made meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.
The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years.
Pavlova is made simply by beating egg whites (and sometimes salt) to a very stiff consistency before folding in caster sugar, white vinegar, cornstarch, and sometimes vanilla essence, and slow-baking the mixture, similarly to meringue. This makes the outside of the pavlova a crisp crunchy shell, while the interior remains soft and moist.
Being polled as one of The worlds best desserts, it is a very popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals.
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
200ml pure cream
Fruit of choice
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Add remaining 3 teaspoons cornflour with the last tablespoon of sugar. Fold through vanilla and vinegar.
Spoon meringue onto a tray with baking paper and dust with cornflour. Shape into a circle, with a slightly higher edge and a low centre. Reduce oven to 100°C. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until dry and crisp. Turn off oven and open oven door. Cool completely in oven (pavlova may sink during cooling).
Slide pavlova onto a serving plate. Spread with cream and top with bannana, passionfruit, strawberries, kiwi fruit or whatever fruit you have in the house.
Serve it up and watch the smiles!!