Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pavolva: A Story of a Birthday Cake.

My favorite all time cake is a coconut cake with lemon filling and coconut frosting. Sadly my hubbly does not like coconut, not even a little bit. Thus when my birthday rolls along it really does not make sense for me to make a big coconut cake that only I will eat. So this year I thought and thought about what I should do about a birthday sweet. Finally I decided on making a pavlova. I have wanted to make one for a couple of years now, but I have never had the right occasion.

I did a bit of internet research and found that most of the pavlova recipes were about the same. I used the one from Joy of Baking, but any meringue recipe would work. On the Baked Bree Blog I found a recipe with lemon curd in the pavolva so I incorporated that into my concoction. Because I was able to find organic strawberries, I planned to use them on top. I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide if they should be plain or macerated. I really could not decide until I saw an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he macerated strawberries with Chambord. Mmmm…Chambord! And I had a bottle in the cupboard. That made my decision for me!

I have not made a lot meringue in my life, so I was not sure when it is done and how to handle it. I think I moved it too soon after it came out of the oven, because it cracked badly. But when I cut it with all the toppings on it the next day it held together nicely.

The whole top basically broke off! 
(This picture refuses to turn left, so I am stuck with it being sideways.)

I thought it was quite pretty all put together. 

See it sliced really well! I was afraid I would need a spoon. 

See the yummy lemon-lime curd?

Yummers! It was the perfect end to my birthday.

Those Chambord macerated strawberries were amazing! I think I might make them next summer, let them macerate and then blend them. The resulting “juice” would be wonderful in a drink. The curd I made was a lemon-lime curd. I did not have enough lemons in the house for just a lemon curd. The great thing about making a curd with a meringue is having a way to use the egg yolks!

I must say it was quite delicious and the hubbly liked it too!

Recipes I used to make this:

Meringue ~ I did not use the whipped cream part of the recipe. Do you really need a recipe for whipped cream? But there is one here if you want one. 

Lemon Curd ~ I made a lemon-lime curd.

Chambord Strawberries ~ Okay, I did not actually follow a recipe and I cannot find a recipe attributed to Bobby Flay, but this one from Martha Stewart should be similar just use Chambord.

Recipe Note: I used homemade vanilla sugar whenever a recipe called for sugar. 


  1. Pavlova! That's another recipe I'd like to try and make sooner rather than later. The strawberries on top look refreshing. I may try the version from Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Express".

  2. It's interesting to read about the discussions between Australia and New Zealand concerning the true origin of Pavlova...
    Indeed, a perfect end of your birthday for both, you and Rodney!