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Posted by IngridO 
December 07, 2016 03:00AM
I'm on Pavlova duty this Christmas

Any great tips on getting a crisp on the outside, bright wide in colour and gooey on the inside Pav?

Any ideas for decoration?
Re: Pavlova
December 07, 2016 03:07AM
Helen's recipes here are great. There is a no fail one I think it is called. That has been my go to recipe for a few years now
Re: Pavlova
December 07, 2016 08:51PM
Thanks Irene. I always like the idea of NO FAIL!!
Re: Pavlova
December 08, 2016 05:43AM
Decorate with heaps of fresh berries some toffee shards and fresh viola/borage/rose etc flowers. Simple is best I feel.
Re: Pavlova
December 08, 2016 10:43AM
Sorry but I can't see a No Fail Recipe here.
Re: Pavlova
December 08, 2016 08:51PM
I think this will be Helen's no fail recipe Irene is referring to []
Re: Pavlova
December 08, 2016 09:24PM
Apologies and thanks Dawn - yes that is it.
Re: Pavlova
December 11, 2016 04:33AM
I asked my grandies wot they wanted to eat on Christmas Day and 2 of them said Pavlova. The only thing I cant make. So Helen I am going to give it a go and make your pavlova, will be interesting to see if its a no fail one!!
Re: Pavlova
December 11, 2016 09:38AM
Noeleen, use slightly less than fresh eggs (half way through their use by date I guess), and relax and follow the instructions, pavs are easy to make and if they don't work perfectly just cover with cream and berries, if it really doesn't work just scrunch up pav (or use bought meringues) and mix with cream, yogurt, berries, marshmallows, no one will mind at all!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2016 09:44AM by Griz.
Re: Pavlova
December 12, 2016 11:27PM
I made my pavlova yesterday and it was really good.
After hearing some people say that the marshmallow pulled away from the shell I decided to reduce the sugar a bit and see if that helped.
Outcome - yes it did.
I think that 1 1/2 cups of sugar is enough (original recipe says 1 3/4).
It is not a crunchy pavlova but more marshmallow style with a firm shell. By lowering the sugar the shell is less crunchy than the original recipe.
I am not going to change the recipe but will go and add notes in.

Good luck Noeleen!
Re: Pavlova
December 15, 2016 09:32PM
Great - Thanks Helen, I will try also this recipe !
Re: Pavlova
December 20, 2016 09:32PM
Ive been checking out your blog, looking for the pav recipe but as I always do, get sidetracked.
Now do you have RED/PINK hair? I love, it if its yours! Its funny imagining what the person behind the pen is like/looks like.
Hair like this wasnt on the cards though.

A lady I work with - probably in her 50s changes her hair all the time, pink, purple, blue shades, of all 3. Hers is short, often its bleached white, Annie Lennox style .

A student at school told me Kool Aid (drink) works a treat. She dyed hers bright RED and said all you need to do is soak it for about 10mins. Lasts ages apparently.

Anyway, back to that pav - NO FAIL sounds amazing. Im going to make one for my partner for his birthday today.
His request is strawberry and kiwi - ha ha very classic or should I say retro.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2016 09:34PM by Vanessa45.
Re: Pavlova
December 20, 2016 10:04PM
Hi Vanessa. Yes that is me with very pink hair. I think I have had pink hair for maybe 4 years now? Lost count When I first get it done it is a bright magenta, which in some lights looks red. And then it slowly becomes a soft pastel pink as it softens and my own still blonde hair comes through. To mix it up, I always change the colour at the back. (cut short)... it has been purple, orange, black, red. If my hairdresser feels inventive or I feel like a change, I will have patterns shaved into the back, eg for a wedding I had a red heart in the middle back

I think because I spent the first 20 years of my life in a very conformist religion cult And then after children and returning to work to a banking environment and more conformity - I love being my own boss now and being able to express myself and not have to worry about bosses/employment and how I am supposed to appear. I have a large corporate customer and the MD has actually said he loves it when I have to call in, as he loves seeing the flash of colour - in my hair that is smiling smiley

I am sure you will love Helen's Pavlova.. one year the inside did collapse on me.. and it could be the sugar ratio. So I just told everyone I had devised a new dessert for Xmas day and it was a deconstructed Pavlova smiling smiley And this year I am cheating! Have ordered one from the Cheesecake Shop. The baking gods will send me to culinary hell for that I am sure smiling smiley
Re: Pavlova
December 21, 2016 12:26AM
Irene, my hair is usually a bright red, and fades to a pinker shade, occasionally I rock blue or purple streaks (when my friend, who is an artist decides to get creative) although at the moment it's a reddish brown with yellow, orange and hot pink streaks. I just had a peak at your blog for the first time, we're kindred spirits I think, hubby and I are Rocky Horror freaks too, and at least once a year get our gear on and head to a screening of the movie, me as Columbia and him as Brad!
Re: Pavlova
December 21, 2016 01:01AM
Ha Griz. I was that disappointed regarding Rocky Horror this year - and not the show itself. I have seen the live show in Melbourne, and up in Auckland, and this year the Hamilton Operatic Society had the rights to have the show in Hamilton. So I bought VIP tickets, front row and it included a glass of bubbly... and that week I ended up in hospital and was only discharged the day we could go. No way I was up to it - and you can't go to Rocky Horror and stay still - so I gifted the tickets onwards. And then was gutted to hear people raving about how fantastic the show was - but hopefully in the future I can see it live again.

Love the sound of your hair colour. We have to learn to embrace colour in this world.

Have a wonderful Xmas and New Year and may it be full of colour, and time warps and bling smiling smiley
Re: Pavlova
December 21, 2016 04:47AM
Gave up cooking them years ago as I just don't have time to supervise cooking and too work intensive if they flop, but my best toppings are always a mixture of two or three of the following:

Re: Pavlova
December 21, 2016 12:56PM
Hi all,

I have used Helens recipe for years, I have reduced the amount of sugar in mine too.
Im a weird one though, I cook mine in a cake tin.

I always have collapse and I dont mind one bit, i cover the top with fresh cream and what ever fancies, passionfruit pulp, berries, peaches, kiwifruit etc.
Re: Pavlova
December 22, 2016 09:16PM
Zeetra - Is the purpose of the cake tin to keep the pavlova in a round perfect shape?

Does it not stick to the sides?
Re: Pavlova
December 23, 2016 06:13AM
I have just made Helens pavlova with less sugar. I beat the hell out of it, as I have a wonderful mixer, and left it in the oven for 4 hours after it finished cooking. I had to bake something else.

My problem is that it is weeping out from the bottom. What have I done wrong. I think in my 50 years years of cooking/ baking it may be the only Pav I have ever made.

Any ideas?
Regards and Merry Christmas
Re: Pavlova
December 23, 2016 07:22AM
I have read that fresher eggs make a pavlova weep. I have no idea about that though. However, it seems any pavlova I've ever made weeps!! (Which makes me want to weep sometimes out of disappointment!) I am planning on making Helen's pav recipe tomorrow ~ I haven't made it before, but have always intended it to be the next one I make. I have some free-range eggs here which are nearer to their 'best before' date so those are the eggs I plan to use and I will keep my fingers crossed (plus everything else) in the hope it doesn't weep!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2016 07:22AM by Dawn.
Re: Pavlova
December 23, 2016 08:58AM
Hi Dawn thanks for your reply. I used the oldest eggs I had, which had a use by date of 14th January. They were the ones Helen recommends, but it sounds like that was the problem, not old enough. :-)
Good luck with yours!
Re: Pavlova
December 23, 2016 08:58PM
sumar, you say " I beat the hell out of it, as I have a wonderful mixer".
An ideal amount of time to beat pavlova mixture is 10 minutes minimum and 15 minutes maximum. There are many theories about what causes weeping and overbeating is one of them.


If your meringue base is spreading or weeping it is likely that the egg whites were slightly over whisked before the sugar was added. Check the whites frequently when whisking them, particularly if using a powerful free standing mixer.


Weeping: too much sugar, over beating, or not enough cooking. Cook for little longer on humid days
Re: Pavlova
December 23, 2016 10:44PM
I'm about to start mine - wish me luck!
Re: Pavlova
December 23, 2016 11:55PM
Mine is sitting in the fridge, all decorated and sitting nicely in the box it came from, ie The Cheesecake Shop smiling smiley
Re: Pavlova
December 24, 2016 02:10AM
Avoided the whole issue this year by planning on making a mango and passionfruit mess with lime meringues.

My pavlova recipe does pretty well, I think I've only ever had it weep once. It pretty much is bung everything in the mixer, beat for 12 minutes, cook for 2 minutes in 200 degree oven, turn off oven and leave to cool overnight. Even hubby can make it!
Re: Pavlova
December 24, 2016 11:50AM
My PAV worked perfectly even though I used ordinary sugar not castor! I did decrease the amount of sugar (like Helen suggested) and its still in the oven drying out


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2016 11:50AM by IngridO.
Re: Pavlova
December 27, 2016 05:48AM
I was very happy with my pavlova too. Picture attached ~ it has just been taken out of the oven the next morning. I could see through the peepholes in the top of the pav that the marshmellow inside was about 4 cm's below the top crust, and as I expected, when I started to spread the whipped cream over the pav the crust caved in. The sides remained standing and un-cracked so it was a perfect hollow in which to spread the whipped cream and top with fresh berries. It didn't weep and neither did I!spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2016 05:56AM by Dawn.
open | download - P1110327.png (185.7 KB)
Re: Pavlova
December 27, 2016 06:21AM
Your pav foes look really good.
I was happy with mine as it didn't weep but did crack a little
Re: Pavlova
December 27, 2016 06:22AM
Looks fabulous Dawn. It's lovely and white. What temperature do you cook it at and for how long?
Re: Pavlova
December 27, 2016 07:03AM
I followed Helen's recipe to a "T"..........I used classic bake as suggested by Helen (I don't think I've ever baked anything on classic bake!) at 110oC for one and a half hours, then turned the oven off and left the pav in the oven over night. Yes I was very pleased with it, (thank you Helen for the recipe) and I also took note of your comment above J1 (thank you too) and I timed my sugar spoon by spoon application over 15 minutes beating. I was almost tempted to use white vinegar as I thought that would make it whiter, but I lost confidence in that idea and just used malt vinegar as I didn't want it to fail. It was one go or nothing if it didn't work out!
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