Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
If you have never made a pavlova before you are truly missing out!
A pavlova is an elegant but surprisingly simple and delicious dessert. It is a beautiful sight to behold, with its base of light meringue topped by layers of whipped cream and a lovely array of fruit.
Eating it is a decadent sin: it seems so light and airy, yet quite a bit of sugar and cream goes into making one! When you take a mouthful, there is the whipped cream that simply melts in your mouth, the flashes of fruit, and then the softly chewy meringue on the bottom.
In this case, I chose to make a chocolate, orange, and coffee pavlova. I used this delightful trio of the flavors for the cream, and then I topped it with mandarins, strawberries, and blueberries. With far too many egg whites around for my own good (the product of making hollandaise sauces and ice cream), I was able to make two full pavlovas, but the recipe below makes just one. But it would be easy to double it to get the same results as me! It truly does scale very well, and making two hardly required more effort than one.
This recipe is entirely my own, although I did look at a number of pavlova recipes for inspiration.
- 6 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and divided into wedges
- 3 mandarin oranges, juiced
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 6 strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a large bowl, combine the egg whites with a pinch of sugar, and beat until they begin to form loose white peaks, slowly adding in the rest of the 1 teaspoon of salt throughout, then slowly integrate the 3/4 cup of sugar, continuing to beat. Once it is integrated, add in the vanilla extract, cream of tartar, and cornstarch. Beat until everything is stiff, firm, and glossy.
- Place parchment paper on a baking dish, pinning down the edges of the paper with small stones or coins. Using a plate, draw a large circle perhaps 9 inches across. Ladle the meringue onto the baking paper, forming a circle and piling it up, decoratively swirling the top. Form a slight depression in the center to hold the cream.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
- In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to form soft peaks. Then add in 1 cup of sugar, mandarin orange juice, instant coffee, and cocoa powder. Beat until stiff.
- Spread this cream over the top of the meringue. Decorate the top with the mandarin oranges wedges, blueberries, and strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar.