In 1935, the chef of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia, Herbert Sachse, created the pavlova to celebrate the visit of the great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Whilst it has been suggested this dessert was created in New Zealand, it has become recognized as a popular Australian dish. This is the most special of Aussie desserts, no party is without one. It’s stunning to have on display on the dessert table. There are endless ways to decorate one, limited only by your imagination. Try grated chocolate and strawberries or and kind of fresh fruit you like on the top.
- 4-6 egg whites
- pinch salt
- 8 oz castor sugar / sugar (equal parts, castor sugar or fine/super fine sugar)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 level teaspoons cornflour (corn flour or cornstarch)
- Preheat oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
- Lightly grease oven tray, line with baking paper or use non-stick cooking spray.
- Beat the whites of eggs with a pinch of salt until stiff (until peaks form).
- Continue beating, gradually adding sugar, vinegar and vanilla, until of thick consistency.
- Lightly fold in cornflour.
- Pile mixture into circular shape, making hollow in centre for filling (Mixture will swell during cooking).
- Put in oven:
- Electric oven: turn oven to 250 °F (130 °C) and bake undisturbed for 1½ hours.
- Gas oven: bake at 400 °F (200 °C) for ten minutes, then turn oven to 250 °F (130 °C) and bake a further hour.
- Fan forced oven: temperature and time needs to be adjusted accordingly.
- Turn oven off, leave pavlova in oven until cool.
- Top with whipped cream and decorate with fruit as desired.