PAVLOVA: History and recipe

Beautiful, delicious and wonderfully elegant! We are referring, of course, to the Pavlova dessert. Today, just as our bakery takes on a fresh new look giving way to fruits, creams and summer flavours, we would like to introduce you one of summer best sellers. The reigning queen of our bakery department, Pavlova is light and ethereal, as is the ballerina after whom it is named.

The Pavlova is named after the famed Russian ballerina Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1881-1931), who toured New Zealand and Australia in 1926. As the New Zealand version of the story goes, (there is some controversy as to whether it was invented in New Zealand or Australia), the chef of a Wellington hotel at the time created the billowy dessert in her honour, claiming his inspiration came from her tutu! The Australians, however, believe that the Pavlova was invented in a Perth hotel and was named after the ballerina when one of the diners declared it to be “as light as Pavlova!” 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 the Great Britain. There are some 150 pieces of corroborating evidence which prove that variations of the Pavlova dessert were recorded well before 1926.

Nevertheless, whatever it's origins we fell in love with this dessert which justifiably is the reigning queen of our summer patisserie. The recipe is really very simple, it has three basic ingredients: meringue, fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit. Undeterred by the huge variety of available summer fruits we have chosen to blanket our Pavlova with the freshest of raspberries because of it's unmistakable colour and because its slightly acidic flavour contrasts and softens the sweetness of the cream and meringue. However the possibilities are endless! Any fruit: banana, kiwi, strawberries, passion fruit, grapes, forest fruits and nuts can be used with 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, yet sumptuous dessert. Delicate, but with a definite and distinctive flavour. Our mouths are already watering! It's about time to drop talking and start preparing!

Here is Babingtons Mini Pavlova recipe:

  • 2,60 oz egg whites (rooms temperature)
  • 8 oz castor sugar
  • icing sugar to sprinkle over the top
  • 13 oz fresh cream
  • 0,18 oz icing sugar
  • 8 oz fresh raspberries

Preheat your oven to 250 °F
Pour the egg whites in a bowl and whisk, slowly add 2,60 oz of castor sugar e keep mixing for about 1 minute.
Keep mixing while slowly pouring he rest of the castor sugar.
Line a baking tin with baking paper, fill a sac a poche with the mixture and make small single portions of about 0,10 oz.
Sprinkle the icing sugar over them and bake for about 2 hours.
Whip the fresh cream with the icing sugar.
Fill a sac a poche with the cream and with a circular movement, cover the surface of each meringue with the whipped cream.
Garnish with fresh fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, banana, forest fruits and serve chilled.

Chiara’s tips
My tip for this splendid dessert is a strong black tea, such as the very regal Babingtons Diamond Jubilee, a blend of Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and Kenya teas created in honour of Queen Elisabeth II’s Jubilee. Perfect to go with our queen of desserts! Or, for the more adventurous, a cool refreshing rum and Special Blend based cocktail, our Babingtons Daiquiri Special, one of Babingtons very new creations!


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