Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Pavlova – Cracking Up Down Under!

This crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, baked meringue is named after Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova, who must have done one mean "fouetté en tournant." Some people think they can dance; some people know they can dance; and some people get desserts named after them in New Zealand.

Why she inspired what is basically a large, crispy marshmallow isn’t completely understood. By the way, Australia also claims to have invented the Pavlova, and this controversy is the main reason people from New Zealand and Australia hate each other. Update: I've been informed that New Zealand and Australia do NOT hate each other, but enjoy more of a proud rivalry.

This is an odd dessert, but one that’s a lot fun to make and eat. It's also fat-free…that is, until you pile on the whipped cream, but at least it starts off fat-free. Fresh fruit, especially berries and kiwi are standard fare, and it’s the tartness of the acidic fruit that balances the sweet, gooey crunch.

As you’ll see in the clip, I indulged in a little bit of culinary exhibitionism, and tried a new presentation based on the old, “if you can’t beat’em, join’em,” school of thought. Instead of worrying about a few cracks around the edge, I decided to go full-shatter, and the results are here for all to see.

I kind of liked it, but I’ll let you be the judge. Is it visually arresting? Cool? Annoying? Or, like my friend Tamar from Starving Off the Land implied, does it cause you to think about how badly your driveway needs repair?

Looks aside, strawberries are piled sweet and high at the markets right about now, and this would make a lovely dessert for the holiday. Anyway, I hope you give this a spin…or as I should say in honor of Ms. Pavlova…a fouette! Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4-6 Portions:
3 large egg whites, room temp is best (I think I said 4 in the video, but 3 is what I actually used!)
*Note: do not get ANY egg yolk in the whites, or this will not work.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsps cornstarch
3/4 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
whipped cream and fresh berries as needed

View the complete recipe

75 comments:

Puro y Eterno Amor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

OMG! When you plated it and it tipped over... wasn't expecting the bleep! Still laughing out loud.

Thanks, Chef John!

Unknown said...

Sort of reminds of this Norwegian cake http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A88b6PjydI - not my video and the text is Norwegian. Though I guess you won't need a translation because the method and ingredients should be what you think they are ;) Contact me on my e-mail here (I guess you see it somewhere in blogspot?) if needed.

This cake is wildy complicated compared to pavlova - but the whole cream - crispy - berry-thing, aaah I love it. Must try pavlova. So simple.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for calling it a New Zealand dessert, which of course it is! The origin of the pavlova and the lammington are the biggest issues between our two countries.

Anonymous said...

It was definately New Zealand that invented this yumminess. Don't crack it though! That should be saved for the people you are serving it too. Its part of the joy of the Pavlova! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe. My mum has been baking these since I can remember. Now I have a daughter and can't wait to pass on this great kiwi tradition.

yisu said...

The look's fine and I can tell it's yum!

yisu said...

The look's fine and I can tell it's yum!

Anonymous said...

Icky, icky, icky and nasty, nasty, nasty! Meringue in any form has got to be from Satan. It looks gross and tastes horrible. Why would anyone fight to "claim" this? I'd blame it on the other country and feel great that we wouldn't eat this!

Her said...

Just tried this and it flopped. My batch didn't get stiff. After a bit of research I found an important step to include here -> separate egg whites when the eggs are cold, but give the egg whites time to get to room temperature before starting. (30 mins or so) hope this prevents other meringue disasters.

Chef John said...

Yes, room temp are better! I'm going to add a note now, but it should still have worked. I used cold whites and they came out fine. Did you get some yolk in the whites? This is usually the reason they don't work.

Doug DeFrees said...

This looks really good, Chef John. However, with just two of us it will probably make for dessert on two days. How well does it keep? How should it be stored?

Morgan said...

Omg Chef John! This recipe is so you! Soft on the inside, hard on the outside. And I'm hard on the outside too, you're so delicious!

Martin Mental said...

Dear Chef John,

Hmmmm.... this looks absolutely delicious! My question is, would this also work with Italian Merenque? Just because I'm a nut for Italian Merengue.

With kind regards,
Maarten

Chef John said...

Not sure! Never had one around longer than a day :) Once the fruit is on you pretty much have to eat it.

Chef John said...

Italian Meringue? Sure, why not?

Doug DeFrees said...

Thank you, I was thinking I could cut it before adding the whipped cream and berries and just store a portion of the baked meringue.

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate, that is the question.

Julie said...

"people from New Zealand and Australia hate each other. " ... hate is such a strong word! More like sibling rivalry, competitiveness, one-up-manship.

Anyway, my main problem with this posting is that I so excited when I saw "Cracking Up Down Under!" ... I thought, hoped, wanted, that you were down here. Open invitation ... come anytime!

Chef John said...

I've left unrefrigerated for a day and it was fine.

Nossi @ The Kosher Gastronome said...

Also good for passover, except for the cornstarch...i love me some meringue

Vinny from NH said...

I think it was a GREAT idea, but a waste of 5 minutes. How you could delay eating this by 5 minutes I'll never know. WOOT FOR MORE DESSERTS!

Razors Edge said...

I wish I was as buff as you chef john.. this will be a difficult recipe for me to complete, with my 99lb body. I'll give it a try though!!

Anonymous said...

I doubt you did this on purpose, as Passover starts Friday night, but this is actually a perfect Passover dessert recipe. Thanks as always.

Wiz said...

I enjoy all your videos. They are very entertaining and you are just so funny. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the Pav - a truly great Australian desert! ;) Okay,so maybe it's from NZ, but the Lammington is definitely Australian.

Also, we Aussies and Kiwis love each other, but tend to be a competitive bunch.

Clement Moraschi said...

Good stuff. Though we usually slice or quarter the strawberries as it's kinda difficult to chew on whole ones or cut them with your fork/spoon without squashing the meringue under it :P

Anonymous said...

ouch, need 2 more eggs and vanilla extract and then i can do this! =D

Woelkchen said...

Made it, happy now :) Got no Strawberries in Germany yet, but Apple and Pear were great to it, too. And I ate half of my portion just with the cream... delicious *sigh*

By the way - I tried using my frozen eggwhite. It worked.

Anna said...

I've never bothered trying to make pavlova because all the recipes I've seen are much too big and wouldn't fit in my toaster oven (which is where I do all my baking). Thanks for a more manageable recipe!

Anonymous said...

Another reason for not peaking is a dirty, or even slightly wet bowl. Doesn't even have to be visible. It could be rinsed just a little and still have some soap on it.

Make sure it is very clean and very dry and you should have no trouble getting volume and stiffness.

Dina said...

Dear Chef John,

I made it today , And it was delicious , especially the strawberries gave it an edge . But mine turned a little brown , So I should decreases the time ( since I put it in the lowest temp. ) and also it grow double in size . is that normal ?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chef John said...

if it was delicious, don't change anything :) (you can try less time, but probably the temp)

philogaia said...

Okay, after years of seeing this thing I finally feel some impetus to try it. I didn't know it was that easy. Strawberries aren't in season yet up here in the Pacific NW but I can think of a celebration in the middle of May that this would be perfect for! Hopefully we'll have some berries by then. So wet this year. And I hear the detail; no assembly until ready to serve. I'll take the meringue, strawberries, and whipped cream in separate containers. And I think the jam could be thinned with a bit of fruit liqueur. And perhaps a few dark chocolate shavings over all. Oh dear. Off I go.

Carolyn™ said...

Never known any Aussie to "hate" a Kiwi. We are like cousins and they make up a large part of our best football teams. This is a very popular dessert and not many wouldnt have one over the Easter holiday period. I have over the years made one with coffee in it and a coffee liquer in the cream and sprinkles with chocolate flakes that was nice.

Anonymous said...

Looks so good. I hope I can make this.

C&J said...

Mmm that looks great! Can it be made in cookie form? If so, would the oven temperature or time change?
thanks chef!

Anonymous said...

If this is from New Zealand, wouldn't they use Kiwis instead of strawberries?

Pantalone said...

I bet the coffee "infused" one with chocolate flakes, described above, tastes great too!

Valerie said...

For readers: to make sure the meringue works, use a CLEAN stainless or glass bowl. I even wipe it out well first with white vinegar, to make sure there couldnt be any trace of "fat". This is why using a plastic bowl is discouraged (small cuts in plastic can harbor fats/oils that will kill meringue).

Mikkel F. Lerche said...

I'm definately gonna make this for sunday tee :D

Anonymous said...

"lightly caress the tips"

Anonymous said...

Will baking two at a time mess it up? Will it take longer to make?

Vian K. said...

My favourite combination has always been meringue and chestnut puree. But this one looks beautiful! I'll definitely try it!

Anonymous said...

Hey i am a big fan of you from china! But my english is just so so .you said you paint what on the strawberry????

Chef John said...

apricot jam :)

Alexander Li said...

Chef John! I made this a few days ago and it was great! The thing is, I didn't get any peaks. Still turned out pretty good but it looked like a pancake haha. Any ideas why it would do this?

the Sunger said...

CHEF JOHN!!!
First off, love your videos. love love love.
but I have a question!
Other pavlova recipes I saw (but I plan to follow YOUR recipe) , say that egg whites that a few days old work best. ....
what does that mean!??!!? excuse my 15 year old brain. did you use 'fresh' egg whites in your video?
please and thank you chef john!

Azure said...

Thank you Chef John,

I was wondering if it's OK to double the ingredients in order to make a bigger cake?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

Yes, but needs to be the same height, so it would be huge. Or make 2.

Azure said...

thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such wonderfully funny & informative videos...This Pavlova (which I had never heard of before) looks delicious as do all of your recipes! I am planning on trying it for Mothers day in a couple of weeks...I saw on All Recipes that someone had formed thiers into a heart...I think my mom will love it!!
Thanks again.

Lina said...

Will try it today, Wish me luck:)
Chef John you are the best

Claire said...

OMG, this was so simple to throw together. I just got my (first) KitchenAid and literally, in about five minutes, I had pavlova batter -- is it a batter? I suppose, since it's a baked good. Anyway... So simple! This is the family's first intro to meringue, so we'll see how it goes over.

Also - used cold egg whites, seems to be doing JUST fine. How do you know if you've over-whipped them?

Matías Guzmán said...

Somehow I managed to ruin it :(

Nathan said...

Does it need to be 2 inches high? Because the one you made looked about 1 inch or less, because if I tried to make it two inches high it would be very narrow, and if i wanted to make it into small rounds instead of a large circle, like pipe them into palm sized circles, how long would i have to bake them?

Chef John said...

sorry, not sure!

Anonymous said...

why the vinegar?

laswa said...

The correct stage of egg white peaks looked to me just like half-melted marshmallow. Delish!

Butterfly said...

Pleaaaase Chef Jhon, i did exactly what you did in the video, everything was perfect until i put it in the oven, and i ended up with a burned empty brown mass :(( please tell me whats my fault !! am so upset i couldn't make it.

Chef John said...

Did you use Celsius?? It's F here. You overcooked it.

QC said...

Hi Chef John, Big fan here, i try the recipe twice. I still can't have a crispy crust. I let the cake cool in the oven. for like two hours. the surface is still sticky. The inside is perfect tasting btw.

Any idea how to make sure a crispy crust?

Chef John said...

sorry, not sure! You saw how I did it, so I'm not sure what is happening. Unless you have high humidity, then it will be sticky.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I tried your pavlova recipe, it looks physically similar, but the taste seems to be way too off. I guess the problem in my case is I got the sugar and vanilla wrong. How much is the sugar in grams? And since my vanilla is in powder, do I need to decrease the amount or should I increase it?

Anonymous said...

The vinegar is added to equalize the PH level which helps provide a stronger structure for lift.

P.S research has shown while a meringue based dessert first called a pavalova first appeared in N.Z what is considered a pavlova by todays definition was first invented in Australia.....we may have nicked the Name but at least we got the recipe right... :)

ゆみ.莫コナ (Yumi Mok) said...

Hi Chef John! do you have an easy easy recipe for the 3 remaining egg yolks? Tossing them away seems like such a waste ):

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
If you take request I'd love some Vegan recipes, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Do you have to crack the oven to let it cool? Can you just turn the oven off and then let it cool?

Lily said...

Hi Chef John!!!
I followed your recipe to the last dot including the eggs at room temperature.It came out delish but sticky... very sticky... I know it could be the humidity. Is there anything that I can do so this wont happen??
Thank you for your wonderful site.

Chef John said...

Sorry, but I'm not sure!

Jessie said...

Wow! This is by far the simplest version of pavlova I've seen. I 6x this recipe and made a giant cookiesheet pavlova! So yummy! Gotta top it with Kiwi and Strawberry!

Unknown said...

Chef John

If I don't have a baking mat, what can I use instead? foil?

Kristiina said...

I made this last night for a dinner party with friends. It was very simple to make, especially with the added bonus of being able to see exactly what the peaks of meringue should look like. It turned out just as it should have, even though I made it with egg whites that had been frozen. Thanks very much, it was enjoyed by all!

lilsnukems said...

Made this last night and again tonight. Tastes good, but I end up with a giant air pocket between the marshmallow center and crunchy outside. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. Am I over mixing it?

Jolanta Derkacz said...

Few days ago I made Pavlova for my neighbors and we all LOVED it! Thank you Chef John for combining a bit of comic releif with a whole-lotta make sense and know-how into your videos. Well done!

Elisha said...

Can't believe i hadn't seen this video yet. Fantastic recipe and great comedy! Can anyone ask for a better combination?