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Sunday, December 12, 2010


Pavlova is a famous New Zealand dessert (whatever Australians may tell you.) The story goes that a chef created it in honour of famous ballerina Anna Pavlova when she toured New Zealand early last century.

Every New Zealand family has their pavlova specialist. In my family when I was a child, it was my Auntie Francey. At Christmas and New Year family gatherings, and whenever there was a celebration like a 21st birthday party, an engagement party or wedding anniversary, it was her responsibility to bake the pavlova.

Pavlova is a very festive and impressive dessert and many people believe it is difficult to make, but it's really very simple. Basically it is a large meringue, crunchy on the outside and marshmallow textured on the inside, topped with whipped cream and decorated with fruit, especially strawberries, kiwi fruit, or passion fruit pulp.

Usually pavlova is baked in an oven, but you can also make a version of this dessert in your microwave. Of course it doesn't have the lovely golden brown crunchy meringue. It's all marshmallow, still very delicious. And you can get the color (but not the crunch) by browning your microwave pavlova in an oven. If you'd like to try and make this, here's the recipe...

4 egg whites
pinch salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
 1 teaspoon vinegar

Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they are stiff (I wouldn't attempt this without an electric beater!)
Add the sugar gradually, sprinkling it over the surface of the egg white while continuing to beat. When there is only a little sugar remaining, mix the cornflour with it, then add to mixture. It should be thick and white and glossy, and the sugar should be dissolved (you can check by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers.) Finally add the essence and vinegar and beat till they are mixed in.
Now pile the mixture onto a dinner plate, and cook in microwave for 2 minutes. Leave it to cool without opening the door. When you are ready to serve, spread with whipped cream and decorate with fruit.


  1. Hi!

    I came across your blog because I am also a kiwi, a foodie, and currently living in Japan, and wanted to make a pav but (I'm guessing like you) have no oven! It worked pretty great, but you are right, not as great without the crunchy meringue bits. I'll definitely be following your blog from now on!

    Thanks heaps for the recipe!

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you tried out the recipe. But I'm kind of embarrassed because I haven't been updating this blog for a long time. I got distracted by some of my other projects.
      I hope you're enjoying Japan as much as I do!