PAVLOVA: A Love story
The reigning queen of our bakery department, Pavlova is light and ethereal, just as the ballerina after whom it is named.
How did the Pavlova begin?
The pavlova is named after the famed Russian ballerina Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1881-1931), who was famous for her enchanting loveliness. It was said of her that when she danced she soared through the air as though she had wings.
But where was this dessert born? Some say that a chef in a Wellington hotel in New Zealand, where the beautiful ballerina stayed during a tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1926, was so taken with her performance and her beauty that he lost his head and was inspired to create this delicacy. Sadly we do not know the name of this chef.
This explains why the most accredited story hypothesises that the dessert was created in either New Zealand or Australia.
However, Dr Andrew Paul Wood and the Australian Annabelle Utrecht both believe that the origins of the dessert can be traced back to Germany, America and Great Britain. There are some 150 pieces of corroborating evidence which prove that variations of the pavlova dessert were recorded well before 1926.
Why is the Pavlova so irresistible?
Whatever it's origins we fell in love with this dessert and it is justifiably the reigning queen of our patisserie.
The basic recipe is really very simple, it has three main ingredients: meringue, fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit. Undeterred by the huge variety of available summer fruits, we have chosen to smother our pavlova with the freshest of raspberries because of their unmistakable colour and because of their slightly acidic flavour which contrasts and softens the sweetness of the cream and meringue.
However the possibilities are endless! Any fruit: banana, kiwi, strawberries, passion fruit, grapes, woodland berries, dried berries and nuts, can be used for a Pavlova. And for the more gourmand there is always chocolate or caramel!
For the perfect Pavlova it is essential that the outside is slightly crunchy and the heart is soft. A simple but sumptuous dessert. Delicate but with a definite and distinctive flavour. Our mouths are already watering!
It's about time we stopped talking and started preparing!
Here is Babingtons Mini Pavlova recipe
Elegant, tasty, fresh and a lightness that is almost intangible. Here is a sneak preview of the recipe you will find in our book coming out in September.
- 300 gr fresh egg white at room temperature
- 600 gr caster sugar
- Icing sugar for dusting
For the garnish:
- 500 gr fresh cream
- 250 gr fresh woodland berries
Preheat your oven to 100°C.
Cover a baking tin with grease proof paper.
Pour the egg whites into a bowl and whisk. Gradually add 100 gr sugar in a steady stream and whisk for another minute.
Continue whisking and add the remaining sugar very slowly. Whisk for a further 2 minutes.
Distribute the mix on the baking tray in equal single portions to make the meringues.
Dust the meringues with the icing sugar and bake for about 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and once the meringues are cold whip the fresh cream add icing sugar to taste and place in a piping bag with a 12mm nozzle.
Using a circular, anti-clockwise motion cover the surface of the meringues with the piped cream, decorate with fresh fruits of the forest and refrigerate your mini Pavlovas.
This is an ideal choice of dessert if you fancy a light snack on a hot summer’s afternoon. Or a a dessert after your Babingtons Brunch.
I would recommend our refreshing Babingtons White Passion, blended using white Pau Mu Tan and scented with peach, pears and pineapple. As light and elegant as Pavlova herself.
Or a lightly scented and delicate semi oxidised, Taiwanese Oolong Tea.
For those of you who would prefer to relish your pavlova with a cocktail I would recommend another if Babingtons creations, our Babingtons Daiquiri Special. A rum and Special Blend tea based cocktail, made using our very first tea created especially for Babingtons in the 50’s and still loved to this day.
We look forward to offering our delightful Pavlova everyday of the summer season here at Babingtons in Piazza di Spagna. You can preorder your Pavlovas by email at email@example.com by phone on 06 6786027 or by coming directly to our Tearooms.