The combination of dark chocolate, pistachio and rosewater and the contrasting textures of a crispy exterior and chewy inside give this Pavlova a Persian touch/flavour.
It is commonly believed that the Pavlova was originally created in honour of the famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, either during or following one of her concert tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. It is said that the desert should be “as light as Pavlova” to mirror the dancer’s lightness of movement as a performer. There has been much debate about which of the two countries the Pavlova originated in, however most research indicates that it first appeared in New Zealand.
Pavlova is popular in both New Zealand and Australia where it is commonly served as part of special holiday meals. In recent years the desert has became a favourite Christmas desert in most parts of the world, often replacing the traditional Christmas pudding.
PAVLOVA WITH PERSIAN TOUCH
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
Vegetarian option: Yes
Makes 15 Pavlovas
For chocolate and pistachio meringue:
6 egg whites
300 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
75 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
30 g pistachios, finely chopped
Slice of lemon (optional)
1 tsp corn flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tbsp rosewater
500 ml of whipped cream
Seeds of a pomegranate (How to de-seed a pomegranate)
30 g pistachio, chopped
1 tbsp dried rose petals
- Preheat the oven to 140 ̊C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Wipe the inside of the mixing bowl and the whisk with the slice of lemon (the acid in lemon helps to make sure the bowl is extra clean).
- Place the egg whites in thebowl and whisk at a medium speed until they start to form soft peaks.
- Increase the speed of your mixer to medium to high and gradually whisk in the sugar (a tablespoon at a time), whisking for a few seconds between each addition. Beat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Don’t over beat. (Adding the sugar slowly helps to build up volume in the meringue and to make it stiff and shiny. It also prevents the meringue from weeping later.).
- Add the corn flour, cream of tartar and carry on beating for another 30 second until the corn flour and cream of tartar is mixed with the egg whites.
- Sprinkle vinegar, rosewater, chopped chocolate and chopped pistachios over the egg mix and gently fold in with a large metal spoon (no more than 7 or 8 folds). If you over mix at this stage the meringue will lose its stiffness.
- Spoon or pipe the meringue mix onto the baking tray–flatten the top of the meringue a little to hold the topping later. (Eachmeringue should be around 8 to 10cm. Leavea 2cm gap between them).
- Place both trays in the oven and cook for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly to allow the chocolate meringue discs to cool completely.
- Add the cream on top of each meringue followed by the pistachio, pomegranate seeds and finally sprinkle some dried rose petals on top.