The famous Pavlova cake – an irresistible, airy dessert that boasts a crisp meringue shell and marshmallowy inside. It’s practically magic when topped with whipped cream and fresh summer fruit, and when you layer it with all this goodness it’s literally to die for. Let’s just say I had to pull some serious restraint after finishing the shoot for this pavlova cake — especially since I made extra mini’s!!
Historically, the pavlova cake is quintessentially Australian, but it really depends who you ask. New Zealand tries to take the credit for this worldwide loved dessert named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. Crazy to learn about some of the stories behind food!
Thanks to everyone for contributing ideas to this week’s recipe, it’s always so fun to hear from you! If you haven’t had a chance yet to join in on the weekly recipe conversation, every Tuesday I post on Instagram. I’d so love to hear from you.
Several of you voted for a fruity, summery pavlova, and of course I couldn’t resist (credited below)! Then @ruth_steadman added in, “something with a bit of an alcoholic kick? Like a clementine and campari pavlova?”. That got me to thinking about Cointreau, a ridiculously tasty orange liqueur that’s just phenomenal to bake with.
I decided to add the liqueur to the pavlova as well as the whipped cream, so you have layer upon layer of a slight citrus taste, paired with fresh fruit and pistachios for a little crunch. If you’re not totally keen on making an entire cake (quick note: it must be eaten straight away, so this is a perfect option for your next party), then make some mini meringues and layer the toppings on! An example on how to do this is in a few of the images below.
Happy cooking friends, make sure to share your creations with #ckweekends. I’d love to see what you’re up to! Thanks all for your votes:
Pavlova Cake with Summer Berry Cointreau
Meringue Base:Makes 3 (9-inch) or 8 mini pavlovas
- 2 1/2 cups baking sugar super fine
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot flour
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cointreau or any type of orange liqueur
- 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or white if you only have that on hand
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 large egg whites
Cointreau Whipped Cream:
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream chilled
- 16 oz cream cheese room temp
- 1/2 cup cointreau or any type of orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lime zest finely grated
- pinch sea salt to taste
- 2 cups fresh fruit of choice
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 290 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 3, 7-8-inch circles on the parchment paper, spacing out as much as possible ( meringue will grow slightly).
- Mix the sugar and arrowroot together in a small bowl.
- Mix the vanilla and vinegar together in a separate small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the dry mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Stop mixer.
- Sprinkle in wet mixture. Start mixer again and beat on medium for another 20 seconds or so just until combined and peaks remain stiff.
- Prepare meringue for baking.Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center which you can later fill with cream and berries!
- Bake on the mid lower rack for 1 sheet, or if 2 sheets, swap trays half way through for even baking. Bake for 50-70 minutes for 1 large pavlova (or 50 to 60 minutes for mini-pavlovas). The pavlovas are done when the outsides are dry to the touch. The interior of a properly cooked pavlova should be marshmallowy, and quick tip: it's fine if cracks form in the crust.
- When pavlovas have finished baking, turn off oven and open door, allowing to cool slowly over about an hour period.
To prepare whipped cream:
- If cream cheese is not room temperature, cube into fours. Warm slightly in microwave for 15-25 seconds, just until barely soft to the touch.
- Whip in mixer on high until light and fluffy. Remove and place in small bowl. Set aside.
- Back in the mixing bowl, add whipping cream and whip on medium, gradually increasing to medium high just until cream thickens. Slow to first setting ( as to not whip the cream thicker).
- Add cream cheese in portions, slowly pour and add cointreau, and then maple, finishing with zest and a pinch of salt.
To assemble cake
- On a large plate, place 1 layer of pavlova. Fill with cream and berries. Repeat 3 times with all 3 layers. Top with powdered sugar sprinkles and pistachios.
- *Serve immediately! Pavlova will start to get a bit mushy after a while, so best served straight away.