It is well known that Kiwis and Aussies have a rich history of gentle ribbing. For decades, we have argued over who invented the pavlova.

The answer, we thought, came in 2008 when Professor Helen Leach wrote The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, saying the first true pavlova recipe was Pavlova Cake from New Zealand in 1929. While a dessert named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova was a four-layered jelly from a book published in 1926.

However, Dr Andrew Paul Wood, a New Zealander, and Annabelle Utrecht, an Australian, have been tracing the origins of the dish for two years. They can “categorically state” the modern pavlova began life as a German torte, eventually travelling to the US where it evolved into its final form.

They have found more than 150 pavlova-like meringue cakes served with cream and fruit prior to 1926. They have also found more than 50 dishes named after Pavlova occurring before 1927.pavlova

Pavlova
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Pavlova
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. To make a pavlova you really need an electric beater and egg whites that are not too fresh. If they are the pavlova will weep.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and mark a circle about 16cm diameter with a plate.
  3. Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric beater. Add the salt and beat until stiff.
  4. Slowly add the sugar with the beater running. Beat for about 10 minutes at high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy – it should be thick enough not to fall from the beater.
  5. Last of all, whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
  6. Use a big spoon to drop dollops of meringue into the circled area of baking paper. Form into a circle of meringue, making swirls with the spoon on the top rather than flattening to a neat tidy disc.
  7. Bake at 180°C (not fan bake) for 5 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 130°C and cook a further hour. Turn off oven and leave pavlova to cool in the oven.
  8. Pavlova can be cooked a couple of days ahead a and stored in an airtight container, or frozen.
  9. Scatter over mixed berries and berry compote, or just serve with cream or sliced kiwifruit.
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