According to legend, the cake was made especially for the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova, who does not like cookies.
Cake “Pavlova” is one of the classic desserts, which have acquired legends over time. Moreover, this delicate airy dessert is still the subject of controversy between New Zealand and Australia: each of these countries believes that it was they who made the cake.
In New Zealand, it is believed that the dessert was made especially for Anna Pavlova in 1926 by the chef of the hotel in Wellington, where the ballerina was staying during her world tour.
He was so pleased with their dance and their airy outfits that he created a delicate and airy dessert, radically different from the heavy biscuit treats that were popular at the time. The cake was called “Pavlova” and became incredibly popular. True, historians insist that in New Zealand, even before the tour, ballerinas prepared something similar, so that the chef simply deduced the ideal dessert formula. In New Zealand, “Pavlova” is usually garnished with passion fruit and strawberries.
In Australia, they are sure that the recipe for the cake was created by chef Bert Sachet in 1935, when he worked at the Esplanade Hotel after the death of the ballerina. When presenting the dessert to the audience, the chef exclaimed: “As airy as Pavlova’s ballerina.” And that’s how the cake got its name. In Australia, by the way, and in the UK, “Pavlova” is decorated with fresh raspberries.
Another legend says that Anna Pavlova herself asked a certain chef to cook something light and airy for her for dessert, because she did not eat heavy cakes. But in any case, the classic “Pavlova” is a meringue cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit. It perfectly combines acidity, airy sweetness and lightness.
Classic pavlova cake
- Egg whites – 4 pieces
- Powdered sugar – 250 g.
- Corn starch – 3 teaspoons
- Lemon juice – half a teaspoon
- Cream 33% – 250 gr.
- Powdered sugar – 100 g.
- Fresh fruits and berries.
Proteins from the yolk must be separated very carefully and above all, the eggs must not be cold. It is best to take them out of the fridge ahead of time. Beat the protein until the first foam forms. When all the egg whites have been beaten, add powdered sugar, it is better to do this gradually, a tablespoon at a time. Beat for a few more minutes until the mass becomes shiny and very tight.
It is easy to check the readiness – the protein mass on the whisk of the mixer keeps its shape: “stable peaks”, and if you turn the bowl upside down, then the whole mass remains in the bowl. But it is better, of course, not to check so radically – no one has canceled gravity.
Then add the cornstarch and lemon juice to the mixture and mix gently with a spatula. No mixer! It is not necessary to stir for a long time, so as not to disturb the airy texture.
Place the mass on parchment in the shape of a circle. Make a well in the middle – then put in cream and berries.
Bake at 100 degrees for 1.5 hours. This depends on your oven. The cake may crack, but should remain soft on the inside. Watch for the first five minutes, when the meringue starts to turn yellow, lower the heat.
Ideally, if you turn off the oven and cool the meringue in it. Portion cakes will be ready faster. It is easy to understand that the meringue is ready – it will remain behind the silicone mat or parchment.
For cream, whip cold cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks – this will take about 5-7 minutes. Place on top of the meringue. Decorate the cake with berries and fruits of your choice.
Strawberries and kiwi, strawberries and passion fruit, raspberries with blueberries, or blueberries go well together. You can decorate “Pavlova” with mint and fresh peaches, or peeled orange slices – the choice is yours.
Since “Pavlova” is a very delicate dessert, it cannot be kept for more than a day.