Since we have introduced a selection of Pavlovas to our core cake range they have quickly become extremely popular with our customers and are now amongst our bestselling treats.
But what exactly is a Pavlova, where did it originate and how should it be stored and enjoyed?
Our cake experts at Jack & Beyond have done some research and put together this helpful guide to the beloved dessert.
What exactly is a Pavlova?
A Pavlova is a naturally gluten free dessert and consists of a light and airy meringue base topped with smooth whipped cream and a variety of fresh fruits.
The meringue should be crisp on the outside with a softer, slightly gooey texture in the middle and is made by baking a mixture of egg whites and sugar in the oven at a low temperature.
Jack & Beyond Berry Pavlova
Kiwi fruit and tropical fruits (like mango and mixed berries) are popular choices for the topping but most fruits will work well with the Pavlova which makes it a very versatile dessert.
The combination of light meringue, fruit and cream makes it a Summer favourite but it is also a popular Christmas treat especially in New Zealand and Australia - and both countries claim that they invented it!
The (strongly debated) origins of the Pavlova
Kiwis and Aussies alike are convinced that their respective countries invented the recipe for the Pavlova in the first half of the 20th century.
Jack & Beyond Tropical Pavlova
It is a fact that the Pavlova as we know it today was named after the Celebrity Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who travelled through Australia and New Zealand in 1926 and who inspired chefs all over the world to name dishes after her due to her popularity.
One origin story claims that the dessert was created by a chef at a Wellington hotel who was inspired by the ballerina’s tutu to make a dessert with a similar shape and lightness as a tribute to her.
The Australian side on the other hand is convinced that the chefs of a hotel in Perth are the geniuses behind the Pavlova and that the name was conceived when a hotel guest called it “light as a pavlova”.
There is a heated debate going on amongst dessert fans about which version is true but there is even evidence that indicates that the true roots of the Pavlova go back much further in history and to different countries such as Germany.
What we do know for sure though is that it’s delicious!
Pavlova storage and serving tips
As a Pavlova is made with fresh whipped cream and fruit it should always be stored in the refrigerator and ideally consumed within 24 hours.
Pavlovas can be tricky to slice, for best results use a big knife dipped in hot water from the kettle and wipe the knife clean between cutting slices.
We recommend our Pavlovas as a light pudding after dinner, but they are also great as birthday cakes and you can add candles to the top. At Jack & Beyond our Pavlovas can also be personalised with a heartfelt message on the cake board.