Perfect pavlova for Australia Day

Try RACV City Club Executive Pastry Chef Josh Cochrane's pavlova for a special treat on Australia Day or any special occasion.

Is the pavlova an Australian invention? The origins of the humble pavlova cake may be uncertain, but there’s no doubt that the pavlova has become traditional Australian fare alongside lamingtons and vegemite.

When it comes to making your own pavlova, RACV City Club Executive Pastry Chef Josh Cochrane has a few tips and tricks to ensure you get a crisp meringue shell and soft centre.

“The secret to a good meringue, or when using anything with whipped egg whites, is to use extremely clean equipment,” says Josh. “Any grease, oil or fat residue leftover on your dishes or equipment will make it hard for the meringue to retain air. Even if you whip it for a long time, a trace of yolk or oil will kill it.”

Another common annoyance when making your own pavlova is the base cracking in the oven, which Josh says occurs when the meringue is cooked too quickly or the oven is too hot.

“Low and slow will keep your meringue from cracking,” says Josh. “Make sure it’s in a nice gentle oven for about 45 minutes.”

One of the fun parts of making pavlova is deciding on the topping. After dollops of fresh whipped cream, you can add summer fruits, berries or sprinkles of your favourite chocolate bar.

“I love topping my pavlovas with fresh cream and passionfruit,” says Josh. “The tartness of the fruit offsets the sweetness of the meringue and mixes well with the creaminess of fresh cream. You can’t beat it.”

A pavlova on a serving dish

Perfect Pavlova 

by RACV City Club Executive Pastry Chef Joshua Cochrane 

Serves: 8

Cooks in: 1 hour

Difficulty: medium

  • 325g fresh egg whites
  • 525g castor sugar
  • 20g corn flour
  • 15g apple cider vinegar
  • Vegetable oil (for greasing)

For the topping

  • 325ml whipping cream
  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  1. Using vegetable oil, grease your 15cm diameter cake ring liberally, set aside for later.
  2. Whisk egg whites with 1/3 of sugar until very stiff.
  3. Gradually add the remaining sugar while whisking.
  4. Slowly whisk through corn flour followed by vinegar.
  5. Place mixture into oiled cake ring and flatten top with palette knife.
  6. Gently remove the ring.
  7. Bake at 100 degrees, no fan, for 50-60 minutes or until the pavlova can be picked up. Allow to slowly cool in oven.
  8. Once the pavlova has cooled, remove from oven and top with semi-whipped cream and your favourite fresh seasonal fruits. Enjoy!

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