The origin of this beloved meringue cake has been debated for decades, with both New Zealand and Australia claiming it as theirs. Legend has it that Chef Bert Sachse, from the Esplanade Hotel in Perth, named his cake in honour of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in 1935. However, Chef Sachse later acknowledged that the recipe he used was from a 1929 cookery book, The New Zealand Dairy Exporter.
So with all due respect to our Tasman neighbours, we’re staking our claim on this one – here’s one of the most widely used pavlova recipes in New Zealand. Give it a go and let us know what you think! Send us a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature the best-looking shots on our Facebook page.
6 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 cups caster sugar
1½ tsp vinegar
1½ tsp vanilla essence
1½ tsp cornflour
Whipped cream and fresh fruit (we recommend Kiwis!)
1. Preheat oven to 150˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm circle on it. Turn over the paper so that the pencil line doesn’t transfer to your pavlova!
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff, then add the sugar very gradually while still beating. Keep beating for 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar.
3. Slow the beater speed and add the vinegar, vanilla and cornflour.
4. Pile the meringue in the centre of the circle and use a spatula to spread it out to the edge of the circle, keeping it as round and even as possible. Make a slight dip in the top.
5. Bake for 45 minutes, then leave to cool in the oven overnight.
6. Using two spatulas, lift it carefully onto a serving plate and fill the central depression with whipped cream and fresh fruit.