Pavlova is native to Australasian, mainly Australians and New Zealanders. Named after a Russian ballerina, a properly done pavlova has a crisp crust when tapped with the back of a spoon around it. When sliced, you can hear the heavenly sound of crackling crust followed by a soft, pillowy feeling when you slice through the middle. It is baked at low temperature and allowed to cool in the oven until it is ready to be served. A little crack on the surface is normal and it will all soon be covered with cream so it is absolutely normal to get cracks. Usually served with generous amount of chantilly cream and loads of summer fruit, it is no surprise nor wonder why Pavlova remains Aussie's favourite till today. Those sold outside are generally too sweet for my liking. When I make it at home, I cut down the sugar a bit and add a pinch of salt to take away the sweetness as I personally don't favour fruits that are too tart to minus back the sweetness of the Pavlova.
MasterChef new season is back and in conjunction with Anzac Day today, I couldn't resist making Donna Hay's Pavlova to commemorate and respect Anzac Day. Some other typical Aussie food include lamington, meat pies, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, Tim Tam and so forth. I've kept this simple by decorating it with seasonal fruits. I've flavoured the chantilly cream with vanilla bean and a good splash of Vanilla Vodka as well. Chantilly cream is basically whipped cream with small amount of sugar in it. The low baking temperature puffs up the Pavlova while the long cooking time dries it out to give it a crispy shell. If you rush it and bake it at a temperature too high, sugar will separate and ooze out like sap. It won't work. Pavlova can be stored, plain by itself for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Try it and you will be hooked. We absolutely love it. We ate it and have our mouth gawked open for more and more of these just like the baby below. We never seem to get enough, it's simply irresistable! I think if baby is old enough to eat, he will have a sweet tooth too! (Note: It's not my baby, read this)
Donna Hay has certainly create a name for herself. Her pavlova recipe can be obtained on her website or through MasterChef page.
Happy Anzac Day and have fun during the weekend!