Saturday, January 25, 2020

Weekend Cooking: Pavlova board

January 26 is Australia Day and so we have a long weekend this weekend. What better time to talk about that quintessentially Aussie dessert....pavlova?

This isn't the first time, or even the second time, that pavlova has featured here on the blog. I have posted about it several times before, and it was even mentioned in a fun conversation that I had with Kiwi blogger Maree who used to blog at Just Add Books. This is because there is a very long lasting battle between Australia and New Zealand about who is the rightful claimant of having invented pavlova. Interestingly, in the course of writing this post, I saw an article which suggested that it was neither of us, but rather a US creation, which is shocking and as such I am going to ignore!!

Just before Christmas social media went crazy with the idea of Pavlova Boards. They were everywhere over social media, and so because I am nothing but a follower, I decided to get on the bandwagon! This is despite the fact the whole craze me laugh because we have been doing DIY pavlovas for years. Pavlova/meringue nests on the bench and then make your own fillings with fruit and cream, but what I have never done, because this is not something I ever really think too hard about, is put it on a platter, make it pretty, post it on Insta, serve it up and then let everyone make their own!!  Full credit to Swish Biscuits for seeing that opportunity.

What was also different this time is that I actually made my own meringue nests. I have talked before about the fact that I find even the idea of trying to make meringues intimidating, and this is still the case, but I have gradually been building up to trying them. I've made meringue buttercream icing, meringue kisses, topping for lemon meringue pie (must do that one again) and more so maybe the time was right to give actual pavlova a go!

While I was generally pretty happy with the meringues I made, they were a little on the chewy side and not as crisp as  I would have liked. But the taste....oh my goodness..... so good. So much better than any store bought one. And I say that as someone who doesn't necessarily go out of my way to have meringue because I often find it way too sweet. But the ones that I made delicious!

The recipe I ended up mostly using was from New Idea Food, but I didn't do the pink food colouring thing. I also made the raspberry sauce and the chocolate ganache which were delicious.

Pavlova Grazing Platter


6 egg whites, at room temperature
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornflour
Liquid pink food colouring


3 ½ cups frozen raspberries (350g)
1/3 cup caster sugar


200g block dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup pure cream

Trace eight x 7cm circles, about 2cm apart, onto each of two sheets of baking paper. Grease two large oven trays. Place paper, trace-side down, onto prepared trays.

To make mini pavlovas, beat egg whites in a large bowl of an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until sugar is dissolved. Continue to beat for a further 5 to 6 minutes to form a thick and glossy meringue. Beat in vinegar and cornflour.

Dot six to eight drops of colouring randomly over meringue. Gently fold twice only, to create a marbled effect. Spoon meringue evenly into circles on trays. Gently spread to edges. 4 Dot another drop of colouring onto each meringue and use a skewer to swirl through.

Cook in a very slow oven (120C) for about 1 hour, or until pavlovas are dry and firm to touch. Turn off oven. Leave pavlovas to cool in oven with door ajar for 1 hour. Remove.

To make raspberry sauce, combine raspberries and sugar with 1 tablespoon water in a large saucepan. Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Gently boil for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove. Strain through a sieve over a bowl. Discard seeds. (Makes 1 cup.) Cover and refrigerate.

To make chocolate sauce, place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Sit bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove bowl from pan. Cool slightly. (Makes 1 1/3 cups.)

To serve, place whipped cream, passionfruit pulp and sauces in separate serving bowls. Arrange on a serving platter or board with pavlovas, berries and chocolate.

I decided to serve ours with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and mango, the sauces plus a store bought salted caramel sauce with squares of chocolate as well. It was a big hit to the point that I was asked to do it again when we went to dinner a couple of weeks ago. That time, I used bought mini meringues and added peaches to the mix, which was nice, but not as nice as the home made pav!

The interesting thing now is that there are a lot of variations on the theme! Recently I saw a suggestion about a baked potato grazing platter, Fries boards (no really - all different shapes of fries with lots of sauces), pancake boards, and a couple of days ago I even saw what was called an Australia Day platter which is all different types of iconic Aussie biscuits,chocolates and lollies on a board.

Turns out you can put anything on a board!

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Looks interesting and delicious! Hope you are not near the fires!

    1. We are a long way from the fires fortunately. Just a few days of smoke haze so minor inconvenience compared to what so many other people have had to deal with, and continue to deal with.

  2. Pavlova is a delicious treat -- this looks like a great variation on the theme! I've read about the rivalry on the origin: how an Australian chef claimed it but how it was published much earlier in a New Zealand magazine. Although the Australians never give up despite evidence. But never heard of the American claim.

    best... mae at

  3. Yum! A pavlova board sounds like a fun way to enjoy them! So pretty with the fruit and sauces too.

    1. Definitely pretty Deb! Luckily tasty too!

  4. Aussies and Kiwis unite against the pernicious threat! Best wishes from across the ditch. Cheers

    1. Shout the rally cry Carole! Antipodeans unite!

  5. I’ve ever made pavlova but it surely looks good. I see on your sidebar you are reading The Fragments. I liked that book.

    1. I started it ages ago but haven't made a lot of progress Tina.