Valentine’s Pav-LOVE-a

The Pavlova cake is an Australian dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, whose dance was as light and “fluffly” as the texture of the cake!

PS: When I mention “Australia”, I mean the continent, rather than the country. There has been an ongoing debate between Australia and New Zealand over the origination of this cake, and is the national dessert of both.

Heart-shaped Pavlova

Since it is was Valentine’s Day, [ sorry I’m late! 😦 ] which was also close to my sister’s birthday, I decided to bake her a heart-shaped birthday cake! Tiara was visiting from Singapore and she complained that the Pavlova cake was non-existent there. Her intense craving for one prompted her to demand request the meringue cake for her birthday. I actually found it odd that she had difficulty finding a Pavlova in Singapore, given that the Singapore-Australia immigration has always been quite significant.

Anyway, I decided to try Tish Boyle’s “Perfect Pavlova” recipe from The Cake Book, but shaped it in a heart.

Perfect Pavlova

Meringue Shell:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fine granulated sugar (sifted) reduced from 1 1/4

Whipped Cream Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar reduced from 4
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fruit Topping:

I added 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds too. I love having almonds with my whipped cream!

As for fruit topping, use your imagination. Different colour combinations look great together. I also thought Kiwi should most appropriately be included, since it was the national fruit of a certain country. *cough cough*

Cake Border

Directions:

Meringue Shell:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. On a piece of parchment paper draw a heart shape approximately 9-inch in diameter. Turn the paper upside down and place it on a baking tray.
  3. Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar, then beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add sifted sugar one tablespoon at a time, then increase the speed to high and beat whites until stiff peaks form. Remember to scrape the sides of your bowl!
  4. With a silicon spatula, transfer part of the meringue onto your parchment paper, and spread it evenly with a metal spatula. Fill the rest of the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip. I used Wilton’s 1M. Pipe the meringue outlining the edges of the heart. This will give your heart-shape a more defined look. Make sure that the sides are slightly taller than the middle.
  5. Bake the meringue for 1 hour, or until it is lightly coloured and dry to touch. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven for at least 2 hours.

Meringue Shell

Don’t worry if your meringue cracked a little like mine here. We’re going to be covering it up later on anyway.

Filling:

  1. The filling should only be made 2 hours before serving. If it is place on top of the meringue shell for too long, the meringue will lose its crispiness and turn soggy.
  2. Using a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract at high speed until soft speaks form. If not ready to serve, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Right before serving, pipe the filling onto the meringue shell. I made a shell border with 1M. Add sliced almonds.

    Whipped Cream filling

  4. Top with fruits.

Yummay!! My sister really liked it! She thought it was really gooood. The cake can’t keep for too long though! So finish it on your first sitting if you can.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! How did you guys spend your Valentine’s? This year I decided to spend it the old-fashion way. Dinner and movie. In the afternoon, Tracy and I watched The Vow with Rachel McAdams. She’s such a cutie!! I’ve said this before, but if I ever woke up from a coma only to find out that Channing Tatum is my HUSBAND, I would probably not freak out. 😀

Later in the evening, Brad took me to a restaurant called Salmon and Bannock! Yum!! Love it! And will definitely go back…

Yay for V-day!

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