Monday, March 31, 2014

Caramel pavlova

Pavlova is really easy to make, and traditionally uses caster sugar. You can give it a caramel twist if you use brown sugar instead ...

6 egg whites
3 teaspoons vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 cup caster sugar (or brown sugar, if making the caramel version)
1.5 tablespoons water

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add half the sugar, and beat well. Add the rest of the sugar and the vinegar, cornflour and water. Beat until well combined. Pile the mixture onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper on a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius, then turn oven down to 110 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 1.5 hours.

When cold, serve with fresh cream and seasonal fruits.

Mmmmm! We ate this one with cream, blueberries and strawberries

Note that because brown sugar contains molasses, a caramel pavlova won't be as crispy as one made with caster (white) sugar and will get squishy if you don't eat it the day it was cooked. A science-y friend informs me there's a word to describe this: deliquescent, meaning having a tendency to melt or dissolve. (Thanks John.)


John Gallant said...

As well as 'a tendency to dissolve', deliquescent in a chemistry context indicates a tendency to dissolve in the water that is absorbed from the air.

On the recipe: how important is the vinegar in pavlova success do you think? I've tried pavlova without any vinegar and it still seems to work OK. Does it just stiffen up the mix a bit so it holds its shape while cooking?

Karin said...

Thanks, Dr Gallant, for the helpful clarification! Absolutely no idea why the recipe includes vinegar. The original (white sugar) recipe has been handed down through generations, and I simply altered the type of sugar for this version. Further experimentation is clearly warranted ...