Pavlova is a dessert that's simply beautiful to behold. It originates from Australia or New Zealand and was named in honour of the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova! Made with egg whites that are whipped up into a meringue, it's known for its crispy exterior and a soft, marshmallow-like interior. Topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, it's a sweet treat that's perfect for the weekend or for a special occasion. Best of all, it's deceptively easy to make (especially if you have a mixer), with a short and simple ingredient list. We have an easy halal pavlova recipe that's calling to be made - our recipe below yields one pavlova measuring about 8 - 9 inches, but we do include instructions for if you want to make mini pavlovas instead!
Ingredients (yields 1 pavlova or 6 mini pavlovas)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup caster or fine sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice (you can also use white or apple cider vinegar. You can also substitute with ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar if you have that on-hand!)
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp corn starch, sifted
For the topping:
- 200ml heavy or whipping cream
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Fresh fruit of your choice (popular options include berries, passionfruit, mango), sliced or chopped to your preference.
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Have a baking tray or sheet lined with parchment paper ready.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the egg whites. Using you standing mixer or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form (if using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment).
- With the mixer on, gradually add the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time.
- Continue beating the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture looks glossy. Lift the whisk or beater out and feel a bit of of the mixture using your fingers - it should feel smooth, with no gritty texture.
- Add the corn starch and lemon juice and beat on low speed for a few second just to combine (making sure to scrape down sides with a spatula).
- Scoop out the mixture onto your baking sheet. Using a spatula or palette knife, coax and smoothen the mixture out so it forms a circle about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. Indent the centre portion of the pavlova slightly (see notes for mini pavlovas)
- Place the pavlova in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 110 degrees Celsius. Bake for 1.5 hours until pavlova is firm and dry. Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool inside completely - it should take about 5 - 6 hours. You can also leave it overnight.
- To serve, whip your heavy cream with the caster sugar until thickened and soft to medium peaks form (don't overbeat the cream until it gets too stiff - the cream should just hold its shape). Place your cooled pavlova on your serving dish, top with the whipped cream, then top with the fresh fruit.
- Do ensure your mixing bowl is completely clean and free from any liquid or grease as that may prevent the egg whites from being aerated properly.
- If you're not confident in forming a circle when shaping your pavlova, use a baking pan of the right size to trace a circle on the baking paper with a marker beforehand. Place the baking paper upside down on the baking sheet (you don't want the side with the marker to touch the pavlova), then use the traced-out circle as a guide to form your pavlova.
- You can also make mini pavlovas rather than one big one - just spoon (or pipe) them into the individual mini pavlovas - this recipe can yield about 6 mini pavlovas (each with about 3 heaped tablespoons of the meringue mixture). The cooking time will also be shorter (about 30 - 40 minutes for the 6 mini pavlovas). If you want to make the pavlovas even smaller, do note that they'll cook faster.
- If your pavlova cracks slightly, don't worry! It adds to the rustic charm, and you'll be topping it with the cream and fruits anyway.
It's time to make this gorgeous treat - whether it's for your family or for a special celebration. Don't forget to snap pictures of the pretty pavlova you make!