Author Topic: Need Pavlova help !!!  (Read 6309 times)

Offline UnConundrum

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Need Pavlova help !!!
« on: August 23, 2009, 09:57:45 pm »
Not only have I never baked a Pavlova, I've never tasted or even seen one.  Ever fearless, I decided to give it a try.  It's still in the oven in the cool down phase, but I've noticed these huge fissures.  I know it's supposed to crack a bit, but these look excessive.  Is this normal?  If not, any ideas what I did wrong?


Offline Shayla

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 11:29:44 pm »
A Pavlova base should look like a flan case - yours looks like a huge meringue - very impressive but difficult to fill with fruit and cream :)
They need to cook really slowly in a very cool oven so the problem was probably that the size was wrong for the temperature.
Did you make the meringue in your TM? Mine is never good so I kept my small electric mixer specailly for doing egg whites!
Shayla in Cape Town

Offline Ceejay

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 11:33:40 pm »
That's how my pavs turn out - as to the cracks.. I'm wondering if the oven was a tad high?   :-\

Hope you enjoy it UnConundrum!  ;D
The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.
~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin~

I don't always cook!  Sometimes I even parent! ;)
musingnmayhem

Offline UnConundrum

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2009, 12:06:16 am »
No, I didn't use my TM as I was following a recipe in this month's Saveur.  It took 8 egg whites and I thought that might be a bit much for the TM. 

I'm thinking the temp may be the issue.  They say to start out at 350 F (175 C) and then to back the temp down to about 215 F (100 C.).   This version doesn't get stuffed with fruits...  They suggest topping it with a whipped cream/yoghurt combination, some lemon curd (mixed to loosen) drizzled over, and then topped with a few kiwi and strawberry slices...  I'll try to remember a few more pics later.  This was just a test run, so I didn't pick up any fruit, but I did make the lemon curd.

Offline JulieO

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 02:22:14 am »
Unconundrum, looking at your picture and seeing the pav browning tells me that your oven was too hot.  Do you use an oven thermometer? You can pick them up cheaply and they tell the true temp of your oven.  We bought a new oven less than 2 years ago and noticed that food was cooking too quickly and over browning etc so I bought a thermometer and found my oven is actually running 40o C hotter than the dial says.  This helped me so much with things like cakes, pavs etc that need a more accurate temperature.  I also don't use the fan when making pavs and they turn out lovely and white.

I made one quite like yours with lemon curd and fruit on top a few months ago, loved the tartness of the curd with it. Can show you a photo if you want.

I imagine yours tasted good anyway but I can understand wanting to try and perfect it, don't give up, you've done very well for a first try.  :)




Offline UnConundrum

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2009, 02:48:29 am »
Well, we put it together and tried it.  BTW, tonight was just an experiment, trying to learn.  My wife and I liked it, but we both thought it was just too sweet.  I wonder if I could cut back on the sugar.  It took 2.5 cups (about 450 grams) for 8 egg whites.  I'm sure the meringue relies on the sugar to set up, but I'd bet I could cut back to 2 cups, or more.  Any thoughts?

I took some more pictures, but the camera battery is on it's last legs and it's charging...

Offline JulieO

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2009, 02:53:08 am »
To 5 egg whites I add 1 1/4 cups sugar.

Offline Amanda

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2009, 03:11:22 am »
Re the sugar - that sounds like too much.
I made one on the weekend and used 1 cup sugar to 5 egg whites.
Yours looked ok, but a little too brown - I'd check the temp.  I cooked mine at 120C for an hour then turned off the oven and left it in until the oven cooled.  I think that they will crack excessively if cooked too hot.
They can be any shape that you want, as long as they will hold what you want to put in/on them.  I usually just make mine in a big circle and try to dish it out a little in the middle to hold the cream, passionfruit, lemon curd, fruit - whatever.
It is hard to go really wrong with a pav.  If the shape collapses or crumbles then just break it up and serve with the toppings mixed in instead!  They still taste great. ;D
Freelance food/travel writer. Lives in the Adelaide hills and writes a food blog - http://www.lambsearsandhoney.com

Offline Amanda

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2009, 03:12:52 am »
PS
The sugar must go in very slowly - one tablespoon at a time - to ensure that it is dissoved.
I took about 4 minutes to get a cup of sugar into mine.
Freelance food/travel writer. Lives in the Adelaide hills and writes a food blog - http://www.lambsearsandhoney.com

Offline Depome

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Re: Need Pavlova help !!!
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 04:11:53 am »
Such a huge quantity of sugar (compared to egg whites) is probably a large part of the reason for its browness.

I've only ever made pavlovas in Women's Weekly style, that is, flat-topped, cut a circle into the top of it and allow that to fall in somewhat, put the cream in there so that it typically stands about 2cm taller than the pav top, then top with fruit. It's not exactly 'stuffed', but I think the terminology used could confuse people. Pavlovas always crack to some degree so that is tolerated, but by lowering the top of the pav in this manner (behind the walls of the circle) you ease the pressure of the cream and fruit toppings. All of mine have been very presentable, but best served quickly rather than stored as they are so fragile that time only increases the chances of them getting damaged in their containers.