Pavlova may seem like a fancy dessert, but as Niche Food Group pastry chef Sarah Osborn showed me, it is incredibly simple.
I reached out to Sarah to share one of her best Valentine’s Day dessert suggestions that people could easily make at home. When she suggested a pavlova, I got really excited. I had never made one and I wanted to learn her secrets.
A pavolva is basically is giant meringue – the difference being that the with a pavlova just the outside is crispy while the inside is fluffy and marshmallowy. Sarah explained that the addition of vinegar to the meringue gives you the perfect pavlova texture.
You can shape a pavlova however you like. As you’ll see in the video below, it’s just a matter of swirling or piping the meringue on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until you are happy with the shape. Likewise, you can decorate the baked dessert any way you dream up. Sarah decorated hers with a huge dollop of chocolate whipped cream and macerated strawberries (strawberries softened using sugar), while I chose to pipe on the frosting and added some fun sprinkles to the mix!
How to make an easy pavlova for any occasion.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
Macerated Strawberries Ingredients
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
Chocolate Whipped Cream Ingredients
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Whip on high until stiff peaks form.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and white distilled vinegar together to make a slurry.
With the mixer on low, drizzle the slurry into the whipped egg whites.
Mix on high to return whites to stiff peaks.
Transfer onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and shape into a heart or any shape you desire.
Bake at 200 F until the outside and the bottom have a solid shell, about 1 hour.
Let cool and place on desired serving tray.
Macerated Strawberries Instructions
Combine the sugar and the strawberries.
Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Chocolate Whipped Cream Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Whip until medium peaks form (it should hold a peak well enough to be piped).
Dollop or pipe onto pavlova as desired and continue decorating using the macerated strawberries.
Sarah Osborn Blue is the Executive Pastry Chef of Niche Food Group. A St. Louis native, she has been working in kitchens for 12 years. She has been with the Niche Food Group for the last 5 years. She was previously with Boka in Chicago, Illinois, and attended the Culinary Institute of America.