This pavlova recipe is the one we usually make for special family occasions.
When we all get together, my mother and my aunt Carmela, who are great cooks, always bring this berry pavlova for dessert.
What is Pavlova ?
Pavlova is a light and delicious dessert that was made in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pávlova on her trips to Australia and New Zealand.
This pavlova dessert is a delicate and elegant gluten-free cake that consists of a delicate meringue nest, crispy on the outside and soft marshmallow on the inside, topped with sweetened whipped cream and berries.
Now that Christmas is approaching, this elegant berry pavlova is the perfect dessert to surprise your friends and family at this time of the year.
Pavlova Cake vs. Mini Pavlovas
Lately I have been making mini pavlovas instead of creating the classic pavlova cake. I believe that if guests taste their own pavlova, they will be able to appreciate the magic of this sweet treat more fully.
The size of the meringue nest is the only distinction between the cake and the mini pavlovas. As shown in the video below, start making a pavlova nest by dumping a drop of meringue onto the parchment paper. Then, begin shaping the nest by creating a well in the center with the concave side of a soup spoon.
How to Make Berry Pavlova
This classic pavlova recipe is very easy to make as you only have to follow a few simple steps. In the end, you just need to assemble meringue, cream and berries. If you like, you can add other fresh fruit suited to your taste.
Making the nests can be the hardest part; however, I have made a video so you can follow along with me making the meringue nests. Eventually you will find them very easy to make!
Pavlova Recipe: Step by Step
1. Preheat the oven to 248°F ( 120°C ).
2. Separate 5 egg whites from 5 egg yolks. Preferably eggs are at room temperature.
3. In a bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff with an electric handheld / stand mixer on medium speed. When you hit soft peaks form, add in 2½ cups of icing sugar slowly while whipping until it gets stiff peaks. Tip: You hit stiff peak stage when you have glossy peaks.
4. Add in 3 teaspoons of cornstarch through a strainer. Keep whipping with the stand / hand mixer on medium speed. Then, add in one teaspoon of vinegar and keep whipping.
5. Once the meringue is ready, it’s time to create 6/8 mini pavlova nests or an 8-inch diameter pavlova cake nest. Using the concave side of a soup spoon, make the sides of the meringue nest a little higher than the center, creating a volcano shape with a hole in the center that will then be filled with sweetened whipped cream and berries.
While to make a pavlova cake you need the full amount of meringue to make a nest, to make mini pavlovas you use a small amount of meringue for each nest.
6. Bake for 1 hour in case you are making the mini pavlovas ; otherwise, bake for 1 hour and a quarter if you are making the cake. Note: As it bakes, the meringue will rise and crack, becoming crisp on the outside and soft inside like a marshmallow.
7. In a separate bowl, pour 2 cups of whipping cream and whip with the handheld / stand mixer on medium speed. Gradually, add in ¾ cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar. Keep whipping for about ten minutes until stiff peaks form. Tip: Do not whip too fast or for too long, otherwise the cream will achieve a buttery texture.
8. Pour and spread the sweetened whipped cream in the center of meringue nests; then top each one with berries, crushed pistachios and raspberry coulis. Et voilà! You have just made a delicious classic berry pavlova!
I recommend serving this delicacy right after making it, so that it keeps its consistency. Other than berries, you can also use fresh fruits like strawberries or mango to garnish this dessert.
If you don´t have time to make a raspberry coulis, another way to make raspberry sauce is to add a spoonful of raspberry jam in a bowl and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then pour in a teaspoon of water and stir until it looks like a sauce. If you want to remove the seeds of the jam from the sauce, you can strain through a sieve.
From one dessert comes another dessert! After making the meringue, I had five egg yolks left over, so I asked myself what should I do with these egg yolks? So I decided to make this crema catalana!
If you liked this easy pavlova recipe, I invite you to make this no bake cheesecake.
Classic Berry Pavlova Recipe
- 2½ cups icing sugar (300 grams)
- 5 egg whites
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups whipping cream (500 ml)
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 125 grams raspberries
- 50 grams blackberries
- 50 grams pistachios
- Raspberry coulis (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 248°F ( 120°C ).
- Separate egg whites from egg yolks.
- In a bowl, beat egg whites until stiff with an electric handheld / stand mixer. When you hit soft peaks form, add in icing sugar slowly while whipping until it gets stiff peaks.
- Add in cornstarch through a strainer. Keep whipping with the handheld / stand mixer on medium. Now add in vinegar while whipping.
- Once the meringue is ready, it is time to create 6/8 mini pavlovas nests or a 8 inch diameter cake nest.
- Bake for 1 hour in case you are making the mini pavlovas. Bake for 1 hour and a quarter if you are making the cake.
- In a separate bowl, pour whipping cream and whip with the handheld / stand mixer on medium speed. Gradually, add in both granulated sugar and vanilla sugar. Keep whipping for about ten minutes until stiff peaks form.
- Pour and spread the sweetened whipped cream in the center of meringue nests; then top it with berries, crushed pistachios and raspberry coulis. Et voilà! You have just made a delicious classic berry pavlova!