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The Great Australian Pavlova

Updated on December 5, 2014

I'm Passionate about Pavlova

The Pavlova was first created in 1925 by Chef Herbert Sachse of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia, to celebrate the visit of the legendary Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova.

It has been suggested (only in New Zealand) that this enticing dessert was originally created in the North Island of New Zealand, but let me assure you that the Pavlova is definitely an Australian invention.

In no way do I call the New Zealand Claim an outright cold-blooded lie - I merely point out that New Zealanders are grossly misinformed. It's an understandable mistake, the Kiwis (as we Australians call New Zealanders) across the Tasman are constantly claiming Australian inventions, innovations and inspirations as their own.

Now, let me introduce you to that most delightful Australian dessert, the perfect Pavlova.


The Kiwis are wrong!

The Pavlova is Aussie

Pavlova with Mango and Banana - Absolutely Australian

Before you start the Meringue Base

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F - 130 degrees C.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper. Place this on a tray.

Be careful with the eggs . Let them come to room temperature, cold eggs don't whip to such a light, fluffy mass. Separate them.

You need a really clean glass bowl to whip up egg whites. To clean any unseen oily marks, wipe your bowl with a little lemon juice.

Ingredients for the Meringue base

The Pavlova is essentially a large meringue with a light, delicate, crisp crust and soft sweet centre served with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

You can make the base the day before.

* 4 large egg whites

* 1 cup caster(superfine) sugar

* 1 teaspoon white vinegar

* 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)

Making the Meringue Base

The Traditional Method

Whip the eggs until they are standing in 'soft peaks' (ie the mixture forms a little peak when you lift out the whisk). I use my electric mixer although my mother, in what she used to call the traditional recipe, always whisked the eggs by hand.

Tip one third of the sugar into the whites and whisk it in thoroughly.

Add the rest of the sugar in two parts, whisking between adding them.

Finally stir the vinegar and cornflour over the top of the meringue and gently fold in with either a silicon spatula, or a metal spoon.

Dollop the mixture onto the prepared tray and spread it out to fit the circle, smoothing the edges, and make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the.centre.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.

Pavlova with Strawberry and Banana - Another Absolutely Australian Pavlova

How to make the Meringue Base

Whip the eggs until they are standing in 'soft peaks' (ie the mixture forms a little peak when you lift out the whisk). I use my electric mixer although my mother, in what she used to call the traditional recipe, always whisked the eggs by hand.

Tip one third of the sugar into the whites and whisk it in thoroughly.

Add the rest of the sugar in two parts, whisking between adding them.

Finally stir the vinegar and cornflour over the top of the meringue and gently fold in with either a silicon spatula, or a metal spoon.

Dollop the mixture onto the prepared tray and spread it out to fit the circle, smoothing the edges, and make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the.centre.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.

How to cut your mango - Three Easy Steps

Pavlova with Mangoes and Bananas is heavenly.

It's simple to cut a mango - once you see how easy it is in this excellent little video, you'll be cutting up mangoes in your sleep.

Make the Filling

Just before serving

Gently place the meringue onto a serving plate.

Whip 1 cup double cream in your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, until soft peaks form.

Sweeten with 1 and a half tablespoons of granulated white sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Mound the whipped cream into the centre of the meringue.

Arrange the fruit and serve immediately.

Pavlova with Rhubarb - Most definitely Australian


The tartness of rhubarb gives an unforgettable taste sensation to the sweet meringue. I love rhubarb!

What's best on a Pavlova?

What do you prefer on your Pav?

See results

I wouldn't be at all surprised if New Zealanders bought a ready made Pavlova Shell from Australia and then slathered it with cream and their ubiquitious ghastly green kiwifruit

Have your say!

Of course it's Australian!

Of course it's Australian!

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    • bluewren56 lm 4 years ago

      Tastes great wherever its from. And the more fresh fruit that is on it, the better!

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I don't CARE, Thank you to WHOEVER invented it!

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I think it is Australian but my favorite version is the Kiwi one

    • Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      I thought it was French before I read this.

    • Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      The Pav is as Aussie as sheep. I guess the Kiwis want to take that glory away from us too!

    What do you think, is Pavlova an Australian original, or can New Zealand claim the prize?

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I'ts NZ made

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        New Zealand -I got my original recipe from a native of NZ. Love it and have been making it for years! Best topping ... Kiwi fruit!

      • LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

        Now living in NZ I must go for NZ. After all Ausies have a reputation of trying to poach our best! Look at Pharlap, Crowded House, and then some Ausie reporter was trying to say Aus New Zealand was 9th in the medals at the Olympics!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        New Zealand, only that my uncle who moved from Aus 10yrs ago, to live in NZ, he is 80yrs gave reconition to a true New Zealand sweet husk. The Pav; and has Kiwi fruit laid on top. He spoke of his native europeans from across the ditch as being guliable and selfish who's ancestors were criminals transferred on ships from england. he said the Pavlova originated from NZ. Aussies are very jealous people toward Kiwi's, because we are a small country with unique people from all walks of life. Yes New Zealand deserves the Big Prize!

      • CatJGB 5 years ago

        Definitely NZ :P

      © 2009 Susanna Duffy

      Leave a message for the Cook - (Do you care where the Pavlova began?)

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        • bluewren56 lm profile image

          bluewren56 lm 4 years ago

          Pavlova is always a favourite dessert. Always fantastic after a b-b-q.

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          crstnblue 4 years ago

          Never tried this cake before, but seeing your work here, definitely it's a masterpiece and noted as mandatory trial to me this coming weekend! : ))

          Thanks for sharing!

        • clouda9 lm profile image

          clouda9 lm 4 years ago

          I have not tried making or eaten a pavlova before. Mmm! to your recipe and your Aussie vs Kiwi debate is lots of fun. Congrats for being one of Squidoo's favorite lenses of 2012! (http://hq.squidoo.com/lensmaster-spotlight/more-of...

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          Doesn't matter, I just want the walls of my Pavlova to stay up! Congrats on making the 2012 favorites list!

        • Elyn MacInnis profile image

          Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

          Um... Not really. I just want a mouth watering slice!

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