Doesn’t this Pavlova look spectacular! I promise, it tastes as good as it looks and it is pretty easy to make. Debbie and I don’t do a lot of desserts, though I always jump at the chance to make one. I really enjoy baking, it was the first thing I loved to do in the kitchen and I used to bake all the time, but my waistline can’t handle baking like it used to… This was one dessert that Debbie and I made because we just felt like it at the moment and because I had been craving a pavlova with cherries since I made one with raspberries for Kevin’s moms birthday earlier this year. Its not very easy on the calories, but it is light and fluffy and doesn’t leave you with a heavy feeling in your tummy.
Did I mention how gorgeous it is?
Say you are having a dinner party and you bring this puppy out for dessert. It looks impressive and like you really know what your doing, but if you can beat eggs in a mixer, stir some sugar and cherries together with wine in a pot, and whip some cream to top it all off then you can make this dessert. The hardest part is keeping your fingers out of the whipped cream and not drinking the wine you need for the cherry compote.
Pavlova is made by whipping egg whites and sugar to sturdy peaks and then baking it slowly so that the outside gets a nice crust and the inside is soft and fluffy. You can bake it as one layer slightly concaved in the top to fill with fruit and whipped cream, or you can layer it like we did and fill the layers with billowy mounds of whipped cream and mascarpone cheese. This dessert is fabulous with fresh fruit, but we love a good fruit compote/sauce and this one with fresh cherries and red wine was our top pick, but there are countless ways to make this desert your own. I have personally also made it with a raspberry sauce which was delicious and I have seen it made with chocolate added to the meringue or strawberries, kiwi’s, or passion fruit on top or a combination of fruits.
If you want this to be an even lighter dessert, leave the whipping cream out and just serve the Pavlova with fresh fruit topped with a fruit compote. Yum!
I think the first time I had Pavlova was when I was quite young and I don’t really remember it and it was quite some time before I had it again. I remember that time well! Kevin and I had just bought our first house and we were deep in the middle of hard core renovations. Our friends Jaime and Brian happened to live two houses down from us and one evening, Jaime brought over this gorgeous plate of Pavlova for us with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It was soooo delicious and its been one of my favorite desserts ever since.
Well we are about to start our next reno project. Maybe she can make it a tradition… Jaime???
- FOR THE PAVLOVA
- 6 egg whites
- 1½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1¼ cup sugar
MARSCAPONE WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cups whipping cream, chilled
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1½ cup cherries
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup red wine
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Make the pavlova first so preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- Beat the egg whites in a mixer until they get frothy and start to turn white. Add the cream of tarter and the salt. Beat a little more.
- Add the sugar into the egg whites bit by bit until its all incorporated. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Line a baking tray with parchment then take the parchment and put a salad plate on top on one end of the paper. Draw a line around the salad plate and do the same on the other end so you have two perfect circles. Turn over the paper and put it back on the tray. Take the egg whites and spread them inside the two circles evenly.
- Place them in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 mins then turn off the heat and let the pavlova cool in the oven slowly. Don't take the pavlova off the parchment paper until it has completely cooled or it could stick and break.
- Next make the cherry compote. Pit the cherries and slice them in half. Put the red wine in a sauce pan and heat to a boil. Reduce the wine to ½ a cup. Add the cherries and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for an hour or until the cherries are nice and soft, then set aside to cool.
- When the pavlova has cooled completely its time to make the whipped cream by pouring the chilled whipping cream into a chilled mixer bowl. Beat on high speed until the cream starts to get fluffy. Add the sugar and the mascarpone cheese bit by bit and be careful not to over whip the cream. You don't want butter! Set the whipped cream aside.
- Assemble the pavlova by placing one of the rounds on a serving platter. Top with half of the whipping cream and a good ladle of the cherry compote. Place the second round on top of the filling and cover with the rest of the whipping cream and another good ladle of the cherry compote.