Tardis Blue Blueberry and Passionfruit Pavlova
I have to confess I’ve never actually made a pavlova from scratch before!
The last time I’d even thought about making a pavolva was in year 10, when I was on exchange in France. Before we left, our teachers had encouraged us to memorise a classic Australian dish to cook for our host families – and of course, what’s a more quintessentially Australian (cough cough, or New Zealand depending on who you talk to) dish than a classic pav! Of course my plan all fell to pieces once I heard my host mother mention in passing that she detested meringue. Uhoh! Oh well, their loss… I served them vegemite toast instead… (“it’s very… special” was all my host father could politely muster)
So when I heard about the food blogger pav blog hop, I knew I’d have to give it a go – if only to make up for my French pavlova that never was.
My family aren’t super sweet tooths, and I was wondering what I’d do with a whole pavlova all to myself. But luckily, the pavbloghop day coincided with the date of my friend D’s Doctor-Who-themed-30th-birthday-party! And as we were all encouraged to bring a dish, why not kill two birds with one (very delicious) stone!
I used this recipe from The Cook & The Chef – I don’t really know why… maybe because then I can imagine Maggie Beer is looking after me over my shoulder. It was a pretty basic recipe, but I found it didn’t go into enough detail in the egg whipping stage. I’m pretty much a baking noob, and didn’t realise I had to add the sugar in bit by bit to reach hard peak… as a consequence, it took a lot longer to whip together than the recipe stated. But I got there in the end!!
Of course the Doctor Who theme meant I had to make the pavlova blue coloured, in honour of the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimension in Space… or basically a big blue box that the Doctor travels around in). In the end I decided that a blue swirl would suffice, as I was a bit too scared to serve my friends a completely blue dessert (visions of Bridget Jones’ horrible blue dinner party soup springs to mind)
The pavlova started to crack as it baked and then cooled – I don’t mind so much, as I then I can pretend that it is “rustic”, but if you prefer no cracks, apparently running a spoon up and down the sides of the meringue to create grooves before you bake it makes the formation more stable. (check out Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things‘ pavlova post for a beautiful non cracked and structurally sound pavlova). Too bad I only learnt that little titbit after my pav was already in the oven. Maggie Beer!! You’ve let me down…!!!
Anyway, whipped cream covers a multitude of ills. I decided to stick with the blue theme and used blueberries as toppings (plus passion-fruit because for me, a pavlova without a bit of tartness to balance out all the sugar is a deathwish!!)
When my mum found out I was making the pavlova to take to a party, she requested I make a baby one for her to eat at home haha.
Pretty pleased with how it turned out…!! And it seemed to go down well with D and the rest of my friends…!
I like how the swirls run all the way through the pav!
Tardis Blue Blueberry and Passionfruit Pavlova (adapted from the Pavlova recipe at The Cook and the Chef)
4 egg whites
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon corn flour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blue food colouring
600ml thickened cream
For the topping:
Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
Beat the egg whites on a high speed until fluffy, about a minute (mine took a bit longer). The bowl should be clean with no grease in it, the eggs room temperature and you should be careful not to get any of the yolk in the white.
Keep the mixer on, as you slowly add the castor sugar bit by bit – making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved before you add more. If you rub a bit of the meringue mixture between your fingers, it shouldn’t be grainy. Mix until the mixture is thick and glossy with a hard peak, then beat in the corn flour, vinegar, and vanilla. Swirl in the blue food colouring.
On a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper, pile the meringue up high to get a marshmallowy centre or flatten it out if you prefer crusty. Make an indentation on the top for the filling.
Bake the pavlova for 50 minutes until quite firm, then turn the oven off but leave the pavlova in it to cool completely.
When you’re ready to serve, whip the cream (do not add sugar!! Believe me, there’s enough sugar in the base) – and add the passionfruit and blueberries!